APNewsBreak: Dodgers, Yankees cut projected luxury tax bills

FILE- In this Nov. 16, 2016, file photo, Hal Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees, talks with reporters during the baseball owners meetings at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Yankees are cutting payroll and their luxury tax bills, just as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and perhaps Clayton Kershaw near the free-agent market after the 2018 season. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

NEW YORK (AP) The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are cutting payroll and their luxury tax bills – just as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and perhaps Clayton Kershaw near the free-agent market after the 2018 season.

The Dodgers are on track to slice their tax bill by about a quarter this year and the Yankees by two-thirds. The San Francisco Giants also are set to slice their payment in the first season of baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, but the Detroit Tigers are slated to pay more despite saying they want to reduce payroll.

If a team doesn’t pay tax in 2018, its tax rate would drop to 20 percent in 2019 – allowing perennially high-spending clubs to sign stars at a lower cost.

The Dodgers are forecast to pay a $25.1 million competitive balance tax this year, according to opening-day calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press, down from $43.6 million in 2015 and $31.8 million last year. The Yankees’ bill is slated to be just under $9 million, their lowest since the tax began in 2003 and less than one-third of the $27.4 million they owed last season.