Dodgers Rumors: 2023 Payroll Exceeded Luxury Tax Threshold Before Miguel Rojas Trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a mostly quiet offseason in terms of player acquisition, and it has been assumed they are trying to reset the luxury tax penalties by staying under the $233 million threshold for the 2023 season.

If the Dodgers were to go over the threshold, they would be considered third-time offenders, which would subject them to a 50% tax on every dollar spent over the CBT threshold. The Dodgers initially were well below, but when Trevor Bauer’s suspension was reduced, L.A. added an extra $22.5 million onto their payroll for 2023.

It was unclear how much space they actually had available due to arbitration numbers being unsettled, but according to Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers were already over the luxury tax threshold before completing a Miguel Rojas trade with the Miami Marlins:

Rojas’ competitive balance tax number is $5 million.

The Dodgers still have until the end of the season to get below the threshold, but it’s difficult to do so during the year, especially if they try to make trades to reinforce their roster at the deadline.

If the Dodgers do dip below the luxury tax threshold for one season, the penalty level would be reset.

In addition to the 50% tax for a third-time offender, there’s also a surcharge threshold for clubs that exceed the base threshold by $20 million or more, which ranges from 12% to a 60% surcharge

Clubs that are $40 million or more above the threshold shall have their highest selection in the next MLB Draft moved back 10 places unless the pick falls in the top six. In that case, the team will have its second-highest selection moved back 10 places instead.

Miguel Rojas text Clayton Kershaw after trade to Dodgers

Rojas’ return to the Dodgers marks a reunion as the 33-year-old signed with the Dodgers in November 2012 and made his MLB debut two years later. Rojas famously made a terrific stop at third base to preserve Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies during the 2014 season.

Rojas was sent to the Marlins that ensuing offseason in a seven-player trade that involved Austin Barnes, Kiké Hernández, Andrew Heaney and Dee Strange-Gordon.

After the trade back to the Dodgers, Rojas revealed that he expressed his excitement to play with Kershaw again in a text message sent to the left-hander.

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