The Boston Red Sox will spend if necessary to improve the team for the rush to a pennant. Exceeding the luxury tax is now possible and that could mean a big ticket coming to Boston.
The good or bad news is the Red Sox have expressed a willingness to exceed the luxury tax threshold as the worldwide search commences for talent to shore up a suddenly injury-riddled team. The good is the proactive stance by management and the bad is eventually the cost will filter down to fans. Money, money, money will be spent.
The formula is an onerous poison pill designed as a preventive measure for the excesses of “Big Market” teams. For ever dollar over $237 MM a 42.5% tax is implemented. The Red Sox certainly have the money and now the expressed willingness to spend it.
Toying with fiscal penalties is not virgin territory for the Red Sox. In their thirst for Yoan Moncada Boston was willing to absorb a $31 MM penalty that matched the traded Moncada’s bonus. Then there is the extensive list of dead money – Pablo Sandoval, Allen Craig, Hanley Ramirez, and Rusney Castillo for a short list.
What this momentous announcement does is open up the playing field for Boston to take someone else’s problem and problem in today’s baseball world is usually equated with a burdensome contract. A Mike Moustakas at $5.5 MM becomes baseball chump change for one example. Cody Collins looked at some potential trading options on Sox Sphere.
Where crisis has surfaced and with no shock to my brainpan is pitching. The pitching always wears down as the season bolts forward. J.A. Happ at a $13 MM pittance is now doable. So are Zach Britton and his $12 MM salary. Maybe Cole Hamels and his $23.5 MM for a lackluster 2018 will draw Red Sox attention? The Red Sox can now jump in the trading game, but what can they offer?
The Red Sox farm system is depleted, but not quite the bottom of the baseball barrel – close, however. Buried within the system make be a gem that other teams cherish. Even Red Sox evaluators may have a rather high internal grade for a young arm or bat sequestered in Salem or Portland. There is a value we may be unaware of. Sox Sphere’s Ben Kairalla recently covered some of the more notable prospects.
The next few weeks will have a frenzy as it always does at the end of July approaches. Apparently, the money expenditure blessing now puts Boston in the limelight, but maybe – just maybe – you may see a real blockbuster trade that includes a top of the line player. Dave Dombrowski is never one to shy away from bold moves.