According to a report filed by the Associated Press, the Boston Red Sox have exceeded the luxury tax threshold and have been billed a hefty $3.4 million dollar bill by Major League Baseball. 2011 marked the second consecutive year the team exceeded the threshold.
The only other team that went over the luxury tax was, you guessed it, the New York Yankees, who had a payroll of just under $200 million last season. The $3.4 million dollar bill marks the second highest bill the team has ever had to pay, only behind the $6.06 million dollar bill the team had to pay at the end of the 2007 season.
The fact that the Red Sox went over the luxury tax threshold shouldn't surprise anyone, as they are coming off an offseason where they signed outfielder Carl Crawford to a monster seven-year, $142 million dollar contract to go along with big contract commitments to the likes of John Lackey, Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Because of these commitments, it was almost impossible for the Red Sox to avoid this penalty.
This year, the luxury tax threshold was set at $178 million. Because the Sox surpassed the luxury tax threshold for the second straight year, they were penalized at the rate of 30 percent. The $3.4 million bill, in turn, means that the team's payroll (as calculated for CBT purposes) was approximately $189 million, the largest ever by a non-Yankees team. (via WEEI)