The Yankees have long been viewed as the “evil empire” because of the organization’s willingness to use its financial muscle to bring in baseball’s best players. That changed this past year, as the Yankees opened the 2018 season with a $161,305,917 payroll — only the 10th-largest Opening Day payroll in baseball. The Yankees had either the No. 1 or No. 2 40-man roster payroll at the end of each season dating back to 2000, according to Cot’s Contracts.
After signing CC Sabathia to a one-year deal on Tuesday, reportedly for $8 million, the Yankees’ payroll currently stands at about $157 million. The luxury tax threshold, otherwise known as the competitive balance tax threshold, is set for $206 million in 2019, leaving the Yankees roughly $49 million to play with before being penalized. A club penalized for exceeding the CBT pays a 20 percent tax for the amount of money over the threshold. If a team exceeds it two years in a row, the penalty is 30 percent. Three seasons in a row bumps the penalty to 50 percent. There are also surtaxes based on the amount of money by which a team exceeds the CBT.