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Angels’ luxury tax situation in 2017

It’s been approximated greatly but what’s the actual figure? Here’s a table.

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images

The luxury tax threshold. Much has been made of it, and owner Arte Moreno’s unwillingness to exceed it. Now that all the major pieces are on the roster, we can finally project the Angels’ opening day luxury tax situation for next season.

So, before we get to the spreadsheet, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

1) For luxury tax purposes, player salaries are calculated by the average (also referred to as AAV, or average annual value).

2) Each player has 6 seasons of service time to be fulfilled before he can become a free agent: usually the first, second, and third years are pre-arbitration (league-minimum salary) and the fourth, fifth, and sixth years are arbitration (either mutually agreed upon or determined by an arbitrator).

Here’s a simple explanation of service time and Super Two (a process by which a player’s year 3 becomes arbitration instead of pre-arbitration).

3) Unlike in other sports, the luxury tax threshold in MLB serves as a soft cap which teams can exceed but must pay a tax on the overage, which becomes increasingly stringent in subsequent years; with the new CBA, excessive overages result in forfeiture of draft picks and bonus pools. The threshold for 2017 is $195 million.

Here’s the spreadsheet (helpful for those on mobile):

2017 luxury tax situation

Player 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Player 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Mike Trout $24,083,000 $24,083,000 $24,083,000 $24,083,000
Albert Pujols $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000 $24,000,000
Andrelton Simmons $8,285,714 $8,285,714 $8,285,714 $8,285,714
Garrett Richards*^ $7,000,000 arb 4
Kole Calhoun*^ $6,900,000 arb 3 arb 4
Matt Shoemaker*^ $3,800,000 arb 2 arb 3 arb 4
C.J. Cron $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
Tyler Skaggs $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
Cam Bedrosian^ $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3 arb 4
Andrew Heaney^ $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3 arb 4
Jefry Marte $535,000 $545,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
Nick Tropeano $535,000 $545,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
Alex Meyer $535,000 $545,000 $555,000 arb 1 arb 2
Josh Hamilton $25,000,000
Ricky Nolasco $12,250,000
Cameron Maybin $9,000,000
Huston Street** $9,000,000 $1,000,000
Yunel Escobar $7,000,000
Jesse Chavez $5,750,000
Danny Espinosa* $5,300,000
Ben Revere $4,000,000
Martin Maldonado* $1,600,000
Cliff Pennington $1,875,000
Andrew Bailey $1,000,000
Carlos Perez^ $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3 arb 4
Ryan LaMarre $535,000
Jose Alvarez $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
Mike Morin $535,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
JC Ramirez^ arb 1 arb 2 arb 3 arb 4
Deolis Guerra $545,000 arb 1 arb 2 arb 3
40 man in minors $1,297,500
Player benefits $13,000,000
MIN=>$4M (Nolasco) -$4,000,000
TEX=>$2M (Hamilton) -$2,000,000
Opening Day TOTAL $170,026,214 $59,548,714 $56,923,714 $56,368,714 $24,000,000
Chavez incentives $3,000,000
Revere incentives $2,250,000
Bailey incentives ?
2017 ending TOTAL $175,276,214

*This player is currently in arbitration. These salaries are projected by MLB Trade Rumors.

^This player is or is likely to be a Super Two.

**The Angels will likely buyout Street's $1M option for 2018.

Players on the 40-man roster, while in the minors, get paid $86,500 at the very least (there would be approximately 15 such players). Player benefits are estimated and include health coverage and pensions.

As you can see, the Angels’ 2017 Opening Day payroll comes out to roughly $170,026,214. Their ending payroll, with the roster currently as constructed and all known incentives picked up, would be $175,276,214.

With the threshold at $195 million, that means the Angels are $19,723,786 under the threshold.

This figure isn’t set in stone, because arbitration salaries may slightly vary, but it provides one an idea of how that money can be allocated. This leaves the team enough money to add a player or two before the season starts and/or gives them salary flexibility to acquire the personnel they want in trades moving forward.