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Dodgers Top Payroll Spending in the Short 2020 Season

Everyone was down, including the Dodgers.



The 2020 MLB season was easily one of the strangest that we’ve ever seen. Drastic rule changes, no fans in the stands, and daily testing just became a way of life over the 60-game season. Luckily for Dodgers fans, we got to watch our team hoist the commissioner’s trophy at the end of it. 

Part of the short season included pay cuts for players as teams had to get creative to survive the pandemic financially. Just a few months after the World Series came to a close, we have the totals on what team ended up paying out to their players. The Los Angeles Dodgers ended up with the highest payroll in baseball at $98.6 million, the lowest payroll for a top spender in 20 years

The prorated salaries across baseball resulted in a decline of nearly $2.45 billion across MLB. Base salaries were reduced by the league to 60/162 after a lengthy public battle with the Player’s Union during the shutdown. The Dodgers had a payroll of over $200 million in 2019, so they cut their pay by more than half. 

Part of the reason the Dodgers still remained so high was the acquisition of Mookie Betts and some other talent this season. Betts was slated to make over $22 million while Clayton Kershaw was set to take home $31 million in 2020. Their combined salaries after the cut landed right around $20 million for the pair alone. Those two guys almost made more than the entire Baltimore Orioles roster this year, who came in at last place with a payroll just north of $23 million. 

Dodgers Luxury Tax Status

Surprisingly, the Dodgers were not one of the teams predicted to go over the $208 million luxury tax threshold that was suspended this year. That $208 million figure is based on last year’s number since it was not available in 2020. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. It will be interesting to watch how 2021 rolls out. I am sure the MLB can get their players vaccinated. Will the Players Union agree to make it mandatory?
    Will, the Luxury Tax threshold go down for 2021as rumor, has it? When will there be enough people vaccinated that we see large drops in infections and more importantly in deaths and hospital stays? That is when they can go back to full stadiums and normal revenue streams.

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