Luxury tax (I’m sorry, competitive-balance tax) bills were sent to Major League Baseball teams this holiday weekend — all two of them, the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Sox will have to pay by Jan. 31 $6.06 million in luxury tax. The Yankees will pay $23.88 million.
The AP story written about the tax notes that Roger Clemens alone cost the Yankees $6.98 million in additional tax, bringing his total cost to just short of $24.5 million.
This reminded me that after Clemens’ first start, I facetiously noted that he posted roughly the same line as Julian Tavarez, so Tavarez logically must be worth $20 million. Unfortunately for Tavarez, he ultimately finished much worse than Clemens. From June 9, when Clemens made his 2007 debut, Tavarez went 3-7 with a 5.13 ERA as a starter. Also, in fairness, Clemens’ final ERA — though among the worst of his career when adjusted for league average — was an improvement over the Yankee starters’ season average and much better than the scrubs he was replacing.
So, considering the tumult that surrounded Clemens’ signing and the fact that the Rocket ultimately crashed (making only two starts in September and failing to make it out of the third in his only October appearance), I just wanted — in the interests of spreading holiday cheer — to let Yankee fans know that it still isn’t so bad.
At least Roger Clemens was worth more than Julian Tavarez.