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Dodgers opening day payroll in 2022 starts at $263.5 million

the Dodgers opened the 2022 season with the highest payroll in Major League Baseball, through a few different ways of looking at it. For our purposes, I have the LA payroll at just over $263.5 million in actual money paid this year.

That’s the third-highest figure in team history, trailing only slightly 2014 and 2015. It’s an 11-percent increase over last year’s opening day payroll.

Dodgers opening day payrolls, 2010-2022

Year turn on IL Dead Total
Year turn on IL Dead Total
2010 $77.9 $1.0 $14.5 $93.4
2011 $83.4 $13.4 $16.3 $113.1
2012 $78.3 $13.5 $22.2 $114.0
2013 $185.3 $40.5 $16.0 $241.8
2014 $172.5 $71.8 $25.5 $269.8
2015 $195.9 $24.7 $45.5 $266.1
2016 $150.5 $66.1 $19.3 $235.9
2017 $161.2 $27.7 $38.9 $227.8
2018 $137.2 $14.2 $26.0 $177.4
2019 $123.7 $51.7 $30.6 $206.0
2020 $174.4 $31.8 $15.4 $221.6
2021 $218.0 $11.0 $8.1 $237.0
2022 $222.1 $9.4 $32.0 $263.5

(in millions) | Click on each year for detailed information

2020 is for full season (not truncated, pro-rated 60-game season)

The $222.1 million on the active roster is the highest the Dodgers have every had on opening day, and the $9.4 million on the injured list is the team’s lowest since 2010.

Ronald Blum at the Associated Press earlier this week had the Dodgers payroll at $285 million, with the Mets second at $266 million.

AP calculates opening day payroll using “salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses and other guaranteed income. For some players, parts of deferred money are discounted to reflect current values.” This accounts for many of the differences in our totals.

For instance, Justin Turner’s two-year, $34 million contract included an $8 million signing bonus, paid $2 million in 2021 then $2 million in each of 2024, 2025, and 2026. His salaries were $8 million last year and $16 million this year. For our purposes, Turner’s payroll number is $16 million, since that’s what he’s getting paid in 2022. AP has his salary this year as $19,579,357which is his $16 million salary plus half of his signing bonus ($4 million) discounted due to the deferred money.

For competitive balance tax purposes, Turner’s average annual value of $17 million is what’s important. It is likely discounted somewhat because of the $6 million deferred, but I have not seen that number just yet. On opening day, the Dodgers had a competitive balance tax payroll of roughly $299.9 million, with a few assumptions.

note: if you are on a mobile device, this table will show up best in landscape mode.

Dodgers 2022 opening day payroll

pos player CBT-number Paid in 2022 Comments
pos player CBT-number Paid in 2022 Comments
C Will Smith $730,000 $730,000
1 B Freddie Freeman $24,699,249 $20,000,000 $27m salary; $7 deferred
3B/2B/1B Max Muncy $8,666,667 $11,500,000 3-year deal plus 2023 option
3B justin turner $17,000,000 $16,000,000 2-year deal plus 2023 option
H.H Trea Turner $21,000,000 $21,000,000
LF/2B Chris Taylor $15,000,000 $15,000,000 1st year of 4-year deal
CF Cody Bellinger $17,000,000 $17,000,000
RF Mookie Betts $25,554,824 $14,500,000 $17.5m salary plus $5m signing bonus; $8m deferred
2B/LF Gavin Lux $720,000 $720,000
2B/SS/3B Hanser Albert $1,850,000 $1,600,000 1-year deal plus 2023 option
3B/1B Edwin Rios $730,000 $730,000
C austin barnes $2,250,000 $2,600,000 includes $100k for 70 games in 2021
SP Walker Buehler $7,000,000 $7,250,000 includes $3m for 28 starts in ’21; + $1m signing bonus
SP Julius Uriah $8,000,000 $8,000,000
SP Clayton Kershaw $17,000,000 $17,000,000
SP Andrew Heaney $8,500,000 $8,500,000
SP Tony Gonsolin $720,000 $720,000
CL Craig Kimbrel $16,000,000 $16,000,000
rhp Blake Trenen $8,750,000 $9,000,000 2-year deal plus 2023 option
rhp Brusdar Graterol $720,000 $720,000
rhp daniel hudson $7,000,000 $6,000,000 1-year deal plus 2023 option
LHP alex vesia $720,000 $720,000
LHP David Price $15,000,000 $16,000,000 Red Sox paying $16m of $32m salary
LHP Garrett Cleavenger $710,000 $710,000
LHP Justin Bruhl $710,000 $710,000
rhp Evan Phillips $720,000 $720,000
LHP Tyler Anderson $8,000,000 $8,000,000
rhp Mitch White $710,000 $710,000
Total active roster $235,460,740 $222,140,000
pos Injured list CBT-number Paid in 2022 Comments
LHP Victor Gonzalez $720,000 $720,000
rhp Tommy Kahnle $2,375,000 $3,475,000 $3.45m salary plus $25k of signing bonus
LHP caleb ferguson $762,500 $762,500
SP Dustin May $730,000 $730,000 60-day IL
rhp Danny Duffy $3,000,000 $3,000,000 60-day IL
rhp Jimmy Nelson $700,000 $700,000 60-day IL
Total injured list $8,287,500 $9,387,500
pos other CBT-number Paid in 2022 Comments
SP Trevor Bauer $34,000,000 $32,000,000 on admin leave during MLB investigation
Total dead money $34,000,000 $32,000,000
CBT assumptions
Minors (on 40-man) $2,500,000
Team benefit costs $18,000,000
Payment into $50m pre-arb pool $1,666,667
Total CBT assumptions $22,166,667
CBT-number Paid in 2022
Total 2022 payroll $299,914,907 $263,527,500

Click on players names for more salary information

Some salaries of players with 0-3 years service time filled in via Associated Press

You can click on names on the table above for more details on each contract. Roster Resource at FanGraphs does a wonderful job of tracking payrolls for all 30 MLB teams. their Dodgers CBT number is $293 million.

The discrepancy in my numbers and FanGraphs is mostly due to Walker Buehler, whose average annual value of his two-year, $8 million contract is $4 million, but he added $3 million to his 2022 base salary by starting at least 28 games last season. Also, the assumption for player benefits, which is an equal amount for each team, is $16 million at FanGraphs but I have $18 million, the figure used by Associated Press.

It’s also important to note that the Dodgers’ CBT payroll includes $34 million for Trevor Bauer, which is the average of his three-year contract. But considering he is currently on administrative leave and could face suspension, that payroll figure might be reduced.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the first CBT threshold is $230 million, with three more tiers beginning at $250 million, $270 million, and $290 million. For the Dodgers, who paid $32.65 million in luxury tax in 2021they would pay a 30-percent tax for the first $20 million over $230 million, 42 percent for the next $20 million, 75 percent for the next $20 million, and 90 percent for any amount over $290 million.

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