On the field, the Yankees' goal this season was to make it further than their ALCS run in 2017. For the front office, though, they had set another expectation for themselves regarding the team's payroll.
Staying under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million was the mission for managin general partner Hal Steinbrenner, GM Brian Cashman, and the rest in the Yankees' front office. And it looks like they will be able to say they accomplished that feat.
Currently, New York's payroll sits at $192.1 million, which is an increase from the $178.8 million they had at the start of the season, according to ESPN. The increase was expected with the Yankees being active at the trade deadline, but it wasn't too much action that would have vaulted them over the threshold.
Even with potential bonuses in play like CC Sabathia's $500K for 155 innings or Neil Walker's $125K for 425 plate appearances, the Yankees still have enough room to stay under.
Why was it such a mandate for the Yankees to beat the threshold? Well, for the past 15 years, they have paid a whopping $341 million for going over, and they wanted that to change.
The Red Sox and Nationals are the only two teams at the moment who will go over the luxury tax. Boston's payroll was at $233.9 million to start the season, and it has gone up even more to $238.4 since Aug. 31. They are now expected to pay $11.3 million in tax.
The Yankees will get rewarded for abiding by the luxury tax, as their base tax rates will go from 50 percent to 20 percent with the new $206 million threshold for 2019. That will give them more room to work this free agency period coming up after the season. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper will highlight that group.