Report: Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays Agree to 1-Year, $5M Contract

Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million with Toronto Blue Jays, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The deal also reportedly includes incentives.

Max Wildstein of Sporting News provided his thoughts on the deal:

Granderson, 36, split his 2017 season between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .212 with a .775 OPS, 26 homers and 64 RBI. It was his 10th season in the last 11 with 20 or more home runs.

He was traded to the Dodgers in August and offered a mixed bag in his 36 regular-season games with the team, hitting just .161 but belting seven homers and recording 12 RBI.

Given L.A.'s depth in the outfield, however, the team ultimately decided against re-signing Granderson.

While the veteran outfielder isn't going to hit for a high average or get on base at an efficient clip, he still provides plenty of pop at the plate and a veteran presence in the clubhouse. Granderson's reached the postseason seven times, so his experience will be valued in Toronto.

If nothing else, Granderson offers the Blue Jays a platoon outfielder who can step into the lineup against right-handed pitchers. But given his consistent power, he'll likely see plenty of action this season.

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Report: Felipe Rivero, Pirates Agree to 4-Year, $22M Contract Extension

The Pittsburgh Pirates and closer Felipe Rivero have reportedly agreed to a four-year, $22 million contract extension, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

Rivero, 26, went 5-3 in 2017 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 21 saves in 23 opportunities and 88 strikeouts in 75.1 innings. 

                  

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Yu Darvish Rumors: Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers Among Teams on Pitcher’s Shortlist

The Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are all on free-agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish's shortlist, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram

Per that report, "Darvish, the source said, isn't sweating the lengthy free-agent process, meaning he's not at a point where he's starting to consider taking less money."

The free-agent market has moved at a snail's pace, slowed by the trade talks surrounding players such as Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole. Alongside Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez remain available, as many teams have avoided the temptation to hand out lucrative long-term contracts. 

That may also have to do with next year's free-agent crop, which will include superstars Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw and Josh Donaldson, among others. For teams looking to avoid the luxury tax this year to save funds—or simply looking to have the money available to make a historic offer to players like Harper—committing to a contract in the seven-year, $200 million range this offseason is hardly practical. 

Darvish, 31, may not get a deal that lucrative, but it would hardly be surprising to see him land a contract in the $25 million-per-year range. While health has been a past concern, Darvish was largely excellent in 2017, finishing 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 209 strikeouts in 186.2 innings. 

He was a liability in the postseason, however, going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

Still, for teams in need of an ace, a player of Darvish's stature is worth a significant financial investment. And all of the clubs on his list were postseason entries last year except for the Rangers. A pitcher such as Darvish could be the difference between winning the World Series and simply reaching the postseason. Or between reaching the postseason and remaining at home.

So free agency may be moving slowly, but Darvish is still likely to sign a lucrative deal eventually.

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Yu Darvish Rumors: Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers Among Teams on Pitcher’s Shortlist

The Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are all on free-agent starting pitcher Yu Darvish's shortlist, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram

Per that report, "Darvish, the source said, isn't sweating the lengthy free-agent process, meaning he's not at a point where he's starting to consider taking less money."

The free-agent market has moved at a snail's pace, slowed by the trade talks surrounding players such as Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole. Alongside Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez remain available, as many teams have avoided the temptation to hand out lucrative long-term contracts. 

That may also have to do with next year's free-agent crop, which will include superstars Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw and Josh Donaldson, among others. For teams looking to avoid the luxury tax this year to save funds—or simply looking to have the money available to make a historic offer to players like Harper—committing to a contract in the seven-year, $200 million range this offseason is hardly practical. 

Darvish, 31, may not get a deal that lucrative, but it would hardly be surprising to see him land a contract in the $25 million-per-year range. While health has been a past concern, Darvish was largely excellent in 2017, finishing 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 209 strikeouts in 186.2 innings. 

He was a liability in the postseason, however, going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

Still, for teams in need of an ace, a player of Darvish's stature is worth a significant financial investment. And all of the clubs on his list were postseason entries last year except for the Rangers. A pitcher such as Darvish could be the difference between winning the World Series and simply reaching the postseason. Or between reaching the postseason and remaining at home.

So free agency may be moving slowly, but Darvish is still likely to sign a lucrative deal eventually.

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Dodgers Trade for Scott Alexander in 3-Team Deal with Royals, White Sox

The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly acquired reliever Scott Alexander in a three-team deal that will send pitcher Trevor Oaks to the Kansas City Royals and reliever Luis Avilan to the Chicago White Sox, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Rosenthal added more context on the trade from the Dodgers' perspective, noting, "Alexander, a left-hander, will replace free agent Tony Watson in Dodgers’ bullpen. Comes with five years of control. Dodgers also parting with minor-league infielder in addition to Avilan and Oaks."

            

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Giants Trade Rumors: Andrew McCutchen Talks Held with Pirates

The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly have held discussions regarding Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

Those talks reportedly began early in the offseason "without producing any apparent breakthroughs," though Morosi noted that was to be expected, "as the Pirates also proceeded deliberately in their McCutchen trade discussions last offseason."

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Red Sox Rumors: J.D. Martinez Reportedly Offered 5-Year Contract

Outfielder J.D. Martinez reportedly has a five-year contract offer from the Boston Red Sox on the table, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Martinez apparently wants a better offer than that, however.

According to Nightengale, "The Red Sox won't give Martinez a seven-year, $210 million contract and aren't about to start bidding against themselves."

                       

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Orioles Reportedly Still Receiving Calls from Teams

The Baltimore Orioles "continue to hear from multiple teams interested in trading for Manny Machado," according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network. 

Morosi added that the Orioles have not set a deadline on trade negotiations in any Machado talks this offseason.

It would appear the Orioles have changed their tune in that regard, however. 

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported on Dec. 21 that the team "just said that unless someone drastically changes their offer, third baseman Machado is staying put for now."

That fit with a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports the previous day, who reported that the Orioles would pull Machado off the trade block if better offers weren't received and added that Baltimore was "seeking young, controllable talent in return for Machado."

Heyman noted that the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, New Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks have all expressed interest and made trade offers for Machado.

As for Baltimore's asking price, the Orioles reportedly are "interested in a deal along the lines of what the Atlanta Braves got several years ago for young star Jason Heyward as a 'five-year' young star (meaning one year to go before free agency)," per Heyman.

In that deal, the Braves received Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for Heyward and Jordan Walden. The Braves would later turn around and deal Miller to the Diamondbacks for Dansby Swanson and Ender Inciarte.

Jim Duquette of MLB.com further elaborated on that type of asking price last week: 

The Orioles are left navigating the tricky balancing act of trying to get maximum value for Machado. They don't want to take 75 cents on the dollar in a trade now, but they also don't want to risk getting even less than that if they trade him during the season. Certainly, they don't want to let him walk if he hits free agency. 

The Orioles can afford some patience. Machado is a 25-year-old superstar who has won two Gold Gloves and reached three All-Star Games in his career. Teams may be wary of losing him for nothing next winter themselves, but at some point an organization will make a major trade offer for the chance to get Machado into their building for an entire season so they can sell him on the upside of signing a long-term contract with them.

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Astros World Series Win over Dodgers Cost Las Vegas Sportsbooks Record $11.4M

The Houston AstrosWorld Series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers cost Nevada sportsbooks a record-setting $11.4 million on baseball betting in November, according to David Purdum of ESPN.com. 

Those sportsbooks recovered nicely in football and basketball betting, however, as "Nevada sportsbooks actually won $9.8 million overall" in the month, the "52nd straight month the books have come out on top" dating back to July 2013.

             

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Former GM Omar Minaya Named Special Assistant to Sandy Alderson by Mets

The New York Mets announced Friday that former general manager Omar Minaya has been appointed to serve as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson.

"Omar has a long history with the Mets," Alderson noted. "He has served the club well in many different areas. Omar will be a resource on scouting and player development, will consult on player acquisitions and will serve as a community ambassador. We are very happy to have him back in the organization."

          

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Mets Owner Fred Wilpon Reportedly Angry After Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton Trade

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon is reportedly "irate" that the New York Yankees were able to land reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton in a trade. 

"Fred is pissed every time the Yankees make a move," a source told Mike Puma of the New York Post. "And he always seems surprised."

         

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Yankees Rumors: Jacoby Ellsbury to Consider Waiving No-Trade Clause for Giants

New York Yankees outfielder reportedly "might consider waiving" his no-trade clause for a few teams, including the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

As Heyman wrote, "Ellsbury could fit in as the Giants' center fielder, whereas with the Yankees he seems destined to be the fourth outfielder, as Yankees people say they are going with Aaron Hicks in center field. Ellsbury lives in the Phoenix area, so the Giants' spring home in Scottsdale would be a plus for him, too."

           

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Zach Britton Reportedly Ruptured Achilles, Out at Least 6 Months with Injury

Baltimore Orioles star closer Zach Britton could miss a significant portion of the 2018 season after reportedly rupturing his Achilles. 

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Britton is expected to be out for at least six months after suffering the injury while working out. 

The left-handed Britton, 29, dealt with injuries throughout 2017, missing time earlier in the year due to left forearm issues and soreness. He was one of the top closers in baseball over the previous three seasons, registering at least 35 saves per year from 2014 to 2016 and putting up a 1.38 ERA in that span.

He was particularly superb in 2016, finishing 2-1 with a 0.54 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 67 innings, converting all 47 of his save attempts.

Brad Brach primarily served as the team's closer while Britton was injured, though Darren O'Day can also take on the role in a pinch. As Zach Kram of The Ringer wrote on the last occasion Britton missed time, however, it's the reverberations down the bullpen that could hurt the Orioles:

"Rather, it hurts most because of the domino effect it inspires, with Baltimore's lesser options being forced into the higher-profile innings subsequently vacated by Brach. Mychal Givens and O'Day are capable of assuming those duties, but they struggle against opposite-handed hitters, and the names further down the line who are slated to take their places — the Alec Ashers and Logan Verretts of the pen — are more erratic still.

It's a fair point and a major concern for Baltimore, especially as it looks to bounce back next season in the highly competitive AL East. The Orioles finished last year 75-87 due in large part to a starting rotation that ranked last in MLB with a 5.70 ERA. 

That makes Britton particularly valuable to the bullpen, and his loss will have a profound impact on the rest of Baltimore's pitching staff.

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Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

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Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Dodgers, Yankees to Pay MLB’s Highest Luxury Tax for 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers will pay the highest luxury tax in 2017, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, owing $36.2 million.

The Yankees come in with the second highest figure at $15.7 million in 2017, the organization's 15th straight year paying the luxury tax, followed by the San Francisco Giants ($4.1 million), Detroit Tigers ($3.7 million) and Washington Nationals ($1.45 million).

Bob Nightengale of USA Today broke down the luxury tax in November, noting "luxury tax payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts and earned 2017 bonuses. While only the Dodgers and Yankees are above the $195 million threshold, teams also must include about $13 million in benefits based on their 40-man rosters."

As Nightengale wrote, the Dodgers bill is "calculated at 50 percent for a third-time or more offender. It also includes a 12 percent surtax on the $40 million above the $195 million payroll, and 42.5 percent for the total amount above $235 million."

The Dodgers have now been in the luxury tax for the past five years, paying nearly $150 million in taxes over that duration, and will be paying the highest luxury tax for the fourth straight year. They had a total player payroll of $244 million in 2017.

By trading Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Culberson to the Atlanta Braves for Matt Kemp, however, the team trimmed its 2018 payroll by $25 million to about $181 million, according to Blum. Kemp is expected to be cut or traded, making the deal solely about luxury tax relief next season.

The Yankees, meanwhile, came in with a payroll at $209.3 million and have now paid a total of $341 million in luxury taxes. The Yankees are currently sitting on a payroll of $177 million for next season, also below the luxury tax threshold. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com