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Yankees set to avoid luxury tax; Red Sox, Nationals only teams over threshold

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees are set to achieve their goal of coming under baseball’s luxury tax threshold for the first time since the penalty started taking effect in 2003. The Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals remain the only teams on track to pay the tax this year, according to Aug. 31 figures compiled by the commissioner’s office for clubs and obtained by The Associated Press. The Yankees’ updated luxury tax payroll is $192.1 million, an increase from $178.8 million at the season’s start. New York is set to finish below this year’s $197 million threshold even with possible performance bonuses of $500,000 for pitcher CC Sabathia pitching 155 innings and $125,000 for infielder Neil Walker reaching 425 plate appearances, plus the addition of nearly $3,000 a day for each September call-up on expanded 40-man active rosters. New York has paid the tax 15 straight years, for a total of $341 million. …