How can this be? Bottom line, the luxury tax covers the Devil Rays' operating costs. Therefore, the team is actually financially incentivized to lose (that is, not to win), if the goal is to generate annual income.
I suspect Naimoli needs these profits and therefore has no incentive to improve team performance.
Major League Baseball must modify the luxury tax to ensure a team is financially stable and competitive on the field. Unless such a change occurs, I suspect that undercapitalized ownership will continue to profit handsomely (e.g., 2004 Orioles, $34 million; Indians, $27.2 million; Reds, $22.6 million; Brewers, $24.2 million; Devil Rays, $27.2 million) while large-market winning teams with well-capitalized ownership lose income (e.g., 2004 Yankees, minus $37.1 million; Angels, down $30 million; Red Sox, $11.3 million in the hole; Mets, minus $11.2 million) but satisfy their penchant for victories.
Fans don't care about money in the owner's pocket. They care about wins and losses.