To nobody's great surprise, the Red Sox joined the Yankees as the only teams paying luxury tax for the 2010 season. According to the Associated Press, the Sox had to shell out an additional $1.5 million for going over the CBT threshold, set at $170,000,000 last year.
The Sox last went over the Salary cap in 2007, leaving them with only a 22.5% tax rate, suggesting that the Red Sox were nearly $7 million over last year's limit. The team had set the threshold as an approximate limit for spending, but were pushed over by big signings like John Lackey along with a number of dead weight contracts and small acquisitions during the season.
What this figure really illustrates, though, is how the Red Sox don't need to worry about incurring the CBT as much as they need to worry about drastically exceeding it. $1.5 million isn't going to make much of a difference for the Sox, nor will a small bump in their tax rate so long as they stick near the limit without going too far above. It's only when things get into Yankees territory--the Bronx Bombers will be hit with an $18 million bill for 2010--that things get restrictive.
The Red Sox seem to have again set the CBT threshold as their general limit, and with their team all-but-complete, do not seem to be in danger of exceeding it by much more than they did last year thanks to delaying the signing of a contract extension with Adrian Gonzalez until after the season. The team will be taxed 30% of every dollar spent over $178,000,000 this year.