A princely tax benefit for Fielder in big baseball trade

By Rob Nikolewski on November 22, 2013
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A WINNING MOVE: Baseball slugger Prince Fielder will see a big reduction in his tax burden after getting traded to Texas, which has no state income tax.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers Thursday, with the Rangers sending second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder.

Baseball fans can argue whether which team made out best but from an economic standpoint, there’s a clear winner and loser.

Under the terms of the deal, the of Fielder’s salary annually for the final seven years of the massive $214 million nine-year contract Fielder signed with Detroit a couple of years ago.

But, at the website points out, since Fielder is moving to Texas, which has no state income tax, Fielder will get a nice reduction in his tax burden compared to what he was paying in Michigan.

Here’s the table Blumenfeld put together:

On the other hand, Kinsler will take it on the chin. His contract remains the same — Kinsler will keep making $60 million over the four remaining years on his deal — but by going to a higher-tax state Blumenfeld estimates Kinsler can expect a total tax liability of $7.35 million.

This story is reminiscent of when Lebron James tested the free agent waters. Among the teams trying to entice James were the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets. According to the New York Post, based on a five-year, $96 million contract at the time, James would have paid $12.34 million in New York taxes and $10.32 million in New Jersey state taxes.

James ended up going to the Miami Heat, located in a state with no state income tax.

Who says jocks are dumb?

Contact Rob Nikolewski at and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

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