The Red Sox face four contractual options after the season:
- Designated hitter David Ortiz has a $12.5MM club option. This will be declined.
- Third baseman Adrian Beltre has a $5MM player option that increases to $10MM with 640 plate appearances. It'll be tough to reach that plate appearance benchmark, and if the option remains at $5MM it'll be an easier choice for Beltre to decline. He gets a $1MM buyout for reaching 575 PAs.
- Bill Hall has a $9.25MM club option with a $500K buyout. Doug Melvin signed Hall to this extension in February of '07. Here in 2010, Theo Epstein won't be considering the option.
- Reliever Scott Atchison has a $440K club option with a $10K buyout. He's currently with Pawtucket.
The Sox have four additional free agents: Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Scott Schoeneweis. They earn a total of $23.2MM this year. Around $46MM will come off the books if everyone leaves. There are also a few decreases to consider – $2MM for Tim Wakefield if he fails to reach 130 innings, and $6.25MM for John Lackey assuming his signing bonus was paid up front. 2010 obligations to former players total $10.5MM (Julio Lugo, Billy Wagner, and Alex Gonzalez). If everyone leaves, and we add in the decreases and money to former players, the Red Sox free up around $64.75MM. I assume things look different for luxury tax purposes, but we're keeping it simple.
The Red Sox have five players under contract getting raises: Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, and Josh Beckett. Those raises total $10.525MM. Boston also has Jacoby Ellsbury going to arbitration for the first time, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, and Boof Bonser in the second-time group, and Jonathan Papelbon and Jeremy Hermida as third-timers. We'll assume this results in $10MM worth of raises.
By my estimate, the Red Sox would have more than $40MM to work, holding payroll steady. It's more complicated than what I've done here, but they'll be able to address catcher, third base, and designated hitter without a big payroll increase.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.