Detroit Tigers owner Chris Ilitch denies voting against increase in MLB luxury tax threshold

Early March report named Ilitch as 1 of 4 MLB owners who voted against CBT increase

Christopher Ilitch during a news conference on April 28, 2016, in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio, The Associated Press 2016)

DETROITDetroit Tigers owner Chris Ilitch has formally denied voting against an increase in the MLB luxury tax threshold during the league’s lockout negotiations with players.

PREVIOUS STORY: Tigers owner reportedly opposed MLB offer to raise luxury tax threshold

On March 4, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich published a report that cited Ilitch as one of four MLB owners who opposed an offer to the players that included a modest increase to the luxury tax threshold.

On Wednesday (March 23), Cody Stavenhagen, also of The Athletic, said Ilitch has refuted Drellich’s report.

Ilitch was criticized following the release of that report in early March, with many in the industry seeing opposition as a sign that he didn’t want to further increase the team’s payroll.

Since then, the owners and players have agreed to a new CBA and spring training is well underway. The Tigers signed reliever Andrew Chafin and starting pitcher Michael Pineda to round out an ascending roster.

When asked about the controversy, Ilitch referenced the dollar amounts offered to new shortstop Javier Baez ($140 million over six years) and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez ($77 million over five years). The deals have the Tigers projected to begin 2022 with a payroll somewhere in the middle of the league.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.