The Toronto Blue Jays are reaching unprecedented heights in terms of spending this off-season.
Even before the recent additions of right-hander Chris Bassitt and left-hander Kevin Kiermaier, Toronto’s Collective Balance Tax payroll – which totals each player’s average annual salary – was projected to surpass $200 million for the first time in franchise history. And that figure will continue to rise once their deals are made official.
Without making any other acquisitions, FanGraphs’ Roster Resource
has the Blue Jays’ CBT payroll at roughly $234.3 million, exceeding the first luxury tax threshold of $233 million. That also would be a first for the organization, placing them among the top five projected payrolls in the majors.
The only teams ranked higher than Toronto are the New York Mets (because, of course) at $350 million, New York Yankees at $266 million, San Diego Padres at $255 million and Philadelphia Phillies at $242 million.
By spending into the luxury tax, the Blue Jays face a 20 per cent penalty on their overages. But since that amount stands at approximately $1.3 million, they’re currently facing an additional charge of just $260,000.
There are ways for the team to descend below the luxury tax – like trading Danny Jansen, perhaps, saving a projected $3.7 million. Alternatively, they could trade Trevor Richards – saving $1.5 million – or Santiago Espinal – saving $2.1 million.
The Blue Jays aren’t finished upgrading their roster, with additional moves likely on the horizon. So while it’s surprising to see this team spending at such a historic level, that’s a reality Rogers Communications – the franchise’s owner – is willing to accept.