Photo Credit : Ian Brown / MLB.com
Realistically, the Boston Red Sox have a three year window for contention. Littered with a roster of potential Gold Glover winners, Silver Sluggers, and aces to lock down the pitching rotation, the expectations are to win a World Series title.
However, with heavy, bloated contracts within the organization and tasked to keep under the $195 million luxury tax, ($197 million in 2018) Dave Dombrowksi will be looking to get creative this offseason.
Boston has and always will be a big market team, operating with one of the highest payrolls in the league.
At what point does a big market team start thinking about trimming the budget and operating like recent 2015 World Series winner, Kansas City Royals?
With guaranteed contracts in baseball and super agents like Scott Boras and Roc Nation negotiating record setting commitments, Red Sox management need to start looking past an individual free agent and into who they’re being represented by. A team can be handicapped and limited by extensive contracts and that’s where the Red Sox are.
The 2017-2018 free agency class is in a word, unimpressive.
Boston doesn’t need J.D. Martinez. Forget about him. The real value is with players in the final year or two of their contracts. For a power impact bat, there are many options to plug in a veteran who will be cost effective. Names like Nelson Cruz, Matt Adams and Evan Gattis come to mind.
Up and down the Red Sox roster, this is a very solid team. Despite being very inconsistent this year, they’re still a first place team. The lineup has grossly underperformed, but remain atop the AL East standings. Buying a championship very rarely works, just ask Ben Cherington.
No franchise wants to be labeled as the team that overpays. Unfortunately with the large contracts of Hanley Ramirez, David Price, and even Pablo Sandoval, the Red Sox are developing a track record. Dombrowski would be wise to allocate that money to the youth that’ll stay (and perform) for the long-term. Even at the expense of some current Red Sox mainstays – sorry Xander and Jackie.