Red Sox Notes: Ross, Jackson, Payroll

The Red Sox freed up some spending room last week by sending Marco Scutaro to Colorado, and today it was reported that the club has made offers to both Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson.  Here's the latest on the BoSox..

  • The Red Sox are in the process of “exploring everything” with regards to freeing up a spot on the 40-man roster after signing Cody Ross, a team source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com.  At the moment, the source says, there’s no sense that the team will consider a “significant” move with regards to its roster.  The most straightforward way to make room for the club might be to deal one of their many out-of-options pitchers.  Boston is also carrying six outfielders on their 40-man roster.
  • According to a major league source, the Red Sox are more likely to address their starting rotation needs through free agency than via a trade, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.  Lauber also spoke to Scott Boras who declined to confirm the Red Sox's reported offer to Jackson.
  • More from Lauber (via Twitter) as a major league source says that the money saved by trading Scutaro is "not a hard number," meaning that the Red Sox may be able to spend more to land a starter and/or shortstop.
  • In an interview on WEEI this afternoon, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that there was no instruction from ownership to stay under the luxury tax threshold of $178MM, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com


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59 Comments on "Red Sox Notes: Ross, Jackson, Payroll"


Member
Leonard Washington
3 years 5 months ago

So what Ben is saying is it was his choice. I like that. This is the year of big 1B free agents. Next year is the pitchers, and we will be there to sign one.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

i can all but guarantee boston will stay under the luxury tax next year. the new CBA has dramatically changed the incentives for doing so

Beginning in the 2013 season, teams on this list can get back a percentage of what they pay in revenue sharing (referred to as a “rebate”). In 2013, those teams would get 25 percent of their money back. In 2014, those teams would get 50 percent of their money back. In 2015, those teams would get 75 percent of their money back, all the way up until 2016, when they would basically get a free pass.

A condition of getting this rebate however is that you couldn’t get it if you were paying any sort of luxury tax. And that’s the problem. The threshold in 2013 is $178 million and from 2014-2016 is $189 million. Go over that and you’ll have to pay at tax PLUS you’ll lose your ability to get your rebate, which increases over time.

this is likely a large part of the reason we’ve seen a sharp change from the status quo this year by the yanks & sox

Member
Leonard Washington
3 years 5 months ago

Not getting taxed is essentially a rebate in itself by the fact your not losing money. The team has not had a large history of being afraid of losing a bit to tax so I don’t know. Wether its above or below
I guarantee we sign a top starting pitcher next season.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

not getting taxed is definitely not a rebate, dunno what you mean by that. the rebates listed above are significant. there is no doubt they are planning around those figures

Member
Mike1L
3 years 5 months ago

It’s interesting the new CBA does create an incentive for the very largest payroll teams to be cautious, because first dollar in over the cap becomes tremendously costly.  The Red Sox might have been at the vanguard of a series of mini-salary dumps-replacing players with cheaper alternatives even if it means the replacement is not as good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees and Phillies follow, and teams like the Angels and Rangers be very cautious, once they get close, no matter how much money from the regional sports networks is coming in.  You might also be seeing this is in very short term deals possible for Oswalt/Jackson/Kuroda/Madson/Pena, etc.  The richer teams will invest big in their primary stars, but be more hesitant to give more than a year to a complimentary piece-even if it’s a good one, and well priced.  This might be what the small market teams are looking for, although it will take some time to sort out.

Member
andrewyf
3 years 5 months ago

If he wasn’t instructed to (and at this point probably can’t) stay under the salary cap this year, what was the point of dumping Scutaro?

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

i think they’re genuinely a lot higher on aviles than … everyone else that i know of. if they don’t forecast much of  a dropoff in SS production with scutaro gone, it makes sense to free up his salary for a starting pitcher

i don’t share that view of aviles, though. i’m not a fan of the scutaro trade or the stinginess that prompted it

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

To be fair, the Yankees were like this last year as well. And really, outside of 2009, every year since 2007.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

sure, but they were only like this last year is because cliff lee turned them down. and they still gave a setup man $35M

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

That’s valid. But they also had Pettitte’s money to spend in the first place, plus a couple of spare parts. Then again, even in 2009, all they did was replace old payroll. I think it’s evident whereas the past four or so years they have maintained payroll, the next two years they will spend getting into the 180 million range and then maintain that. Luckily A-Rod should be the only albatross contract by then.

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

That’s valid. But they also had Pettitte’s money to spend in the first place, plus a couple of spare parts. Then again, even in 2009, all they did was replace old payroll. I think it’s evident whereas the past four or so years they have maintained payroll, the next two years they will spend getting into the 180 million range and then maintain that. Luckily A-Rod should be the only albatross contract by then.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

all true. keep in mind that i’m not a guy who was a problem with the yankees spending

i do think they’re going to try to get under the tax, though. i’m sure they won’t hesitate to go beyond it if that becomes necessary, but those rebates are too good to pass up

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

There may not have been direct instruction to stay under the tax, but back about the time Ortiz accepted arbitration they said that they weren’t going to be able to stay under the threshold, but were still going to try to stick as close to it as possible, which is what I think we are seeing.

Member
diesel2410
3 years 5 months ago

Well, technically the Sox only saved about $3M by adding Ross

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

 What?

Member
Blue_Bomb
3 years 5 months ago

He’s saying that the Red Sox got half ($3mm) of the money they saved by trading Scutaro because they signed Ross.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Okay, but they saved $6Mil by trading Scutaro regardless of what they have done with it sense then.

And why is he saying it to begin with?  There’s nothing there about how much they saved by trading Scutaro to prompt his comment that I can see.

Member
Blue_Bomb
3 years 5 months ago

A lot of people (me included) thought we were very close to going over the luxury tax threshold; and that trading Scutaro would give us the $6mm + another $2mm from elsewhere to sign Oswalt.

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MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

As evidenced by the fact that they have made offers to both Oswalt and Jackson it is pretty clear that they still plan on signing a pitcher even after signing Ross.

Member
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

depending on the terms, Jackson could be a really good signing for them . He’s underrated.  

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Agreed, although I will still prefer Oswalt all things considered.

Member
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

i would too, however I think he’s staying away from the AL east, unfortunately (for you)

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

 Yeah, looks that way

Member
Blue_Bomb
3 years 5 months ago

Whoops double post.

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

It seems like no matter what direction we go, more issues escalate.  For example, we get rid of Scutaro to free our money in order to attempt to get a starting pitcher, but doing so makes us need a shortstop as well.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

The only thing I dislike about the Scutaro trade is what they got in return; while I’m not excited about Aviles/Punto at SS I’m okay with it if it means they can sign a starter.

Member
Blue_Bomb
3 years 5 months ago

I still think the Scutaro trade was horrible. Scutaro’s salary is 6mm so he needs about 1.33 WAR to be worth it. Scutaro will definitely put those numbers up.

We basically dumped him for nothing when we might’ve been able to have gotten a useful piece.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

 Like I said, the problem with the Scutaro trade is what they got in return.  Replacing him with Aviles/Punto isn’t a problem so long as they also sign a pitcher.

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I agree.  I think Aviles/Punto can handle the role, but it’s still a potential problem.

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I agree.  I think Aviles/Punto can handle the role, but it’s still a potential problem.

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I agree.  I think Aviles/Punto can handle the role, but it’s still a potential problem.

Member
Karkat
3 years 5 months ago

What are your thoughts of Aviles or maybe Punto filling in for Scutaro, though?

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Personally, I believe Aviles has more upside as a starter.  I’m not positive that shortstop is his rightful position however.

Member
PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Personally, I believe Aviles has more upside as a starter.  I’m not positive that shortstop is his rightful position however.

Member
Blue_Bomb
3 years 5 months ago

To get something you must give something up in return.

Member
Victor Kipp
3 years 5 months ago

Then why trade scutaro? The guy is a decent ss. He is rather old but Jose I. is clearly not going to be able to stick (literally). I like getting Jackson. I’ve always thought he is better than he is given credit and atleast he comes free of health problems. The upcoming free agent pitchers may not be avaiable next year as so many teams these days are signing their own so in that sense why not get Jackson?

Member
Leonard Washington
3 years 5 months ago

Wasn’t there a post about Mortensen having an option? Send him down. Spot cleared. 

Member
Mike1L
3 years 5 months ago

I think the problem is on the 40 man roster, not the 25 man roster.  The option doesn’t help.

Member
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

A Darnell Mcdonald release is imminent. 

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I was thinking the same thing, but Mike1L clarified the comment. Couldn’t we 60 Day DL Lackey and clear a spot? Also no guarantee on Jenks being healthy so DL movement possible there as well?

Other possibilities for trade candidates to open a spot include Darnell MacDonald and Scott Atchison. 

Figure a staff of Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Aceves and one of Jackson/Oswalt plus bullpen of Bailey, Bard, Melancon, Miller, Morales, Dice-K, Albers is a 12 man staff. Leaving rotation of Bowden, Tazawa, Mortenson, Doubront and Britton for AAA

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I thought Bowden and Doubront were both out of options and would therefore have to clear waivers to get sent down to AAA.

If I were Cherington I would try and see if I could create some sort of package out of McDonald, Atchinson, Doubront, Jenks, and Bowden at this point. Perhaps include Anderson as well- it was enough to get Beane’s attention for Harden this past trade deadline.

Ideally, if salary space was such an issue, Ortiz should have been cordially let go. Instead of a full-time DH, that spot could have been used as a place for various players to get a defensive rest. Prior to trading Lowrie, I could easily have seen Youk and Lowrie spending days there, as well as an occassional spell for Gonzalez and Saltalamacchia. 

Oh well. Still not as big of a mistake as shipping out Masterson. 

Member
Notin J. Notin
3 years 5 months ago

That package will net you absolutely nothing.   One of the out-of-options guy, probably Bowden, will probably be dealt to some team for a minor leaguer we don’t have to put on the 40-man.  It won’t be for a name anyone recognizes, however.

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

I agree that they certainly aren’t selling high on any listed. It would be better than merely losing them through waivers, though.

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

shipping out masterson was not a mistake. he brought back ~6 WAR in 1.5 seasons from the catcher position as well as prospects matt barnes and henry owens

Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Based on what I’m reading off Baseball Reference, V-Mart holds a WAR of 4.2 during his time in Boston. Masterson, in comparison, has put up a WAR of 3.3, granted only the 2011 season was positive, at 4.1, following 216 IP after a season of 180 IP. If Masterson puts up any positive WAR whatsoever next season, it will surpass V-Mart’s WAR due to his knee injury that will likely result in a lost season.

In the short term, V-Mart did provide more immediate, positive impact than Masterson did to Cleveland. I have no trouble acknowledging Boston received value for what was uncertainty at the time. For 2009 and 2010, undoubtedly V-Mart made Boston more competitive on a near-daily basis (being a position player) and by having proven success at the major league level. I didn’t feel at the time of that trade that Boston had a surplus of pitching overall, nevermind a surplus of young, cost-controlled, reasonably effective pitching.

However, now that Boston is having difficulty finding a third starter without serious health or effectiveness issues all the while dancing against the luxury tax, having Masterson or a comparable pitcher capable of throwing ~200 IP of acceptable ball at near-league minimum would be fantastic right now. That has been much harder to replace than the production V-Mart brought to C, 1B, and DH. 

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

rWAR is not the only WAR. splitting the difference between the two, he was just shy of 5 WAR in 183 games. that’s great from a catcher. it was a given that masterson would eventually produce more total value because he came with about 4x the control

no doubt i’d love to have him around right now, but i wouldn’t even trade matt barnes and henry owens to get him – let alone v-mart’s production (he’s making $4M this year, btw, not league minimum)

i always liked masterson, but i didn’t see him as more than a mid-rotation starter – especially in the AL East. there was a real chance that he would become nothing more than a solid reliever. he’s got two pitches and, until 2011, was always torn up by lefties

i sincerely hope he continues to excel in cleveland, but i’d still make the v-mart trade every time

Member
MaineSox
3 years 5 months ago

Seems like people have given up on him

Member
Mike Agogliati
3 years 5 months ago

Didn’t his shoulder completely explode?

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

i’d bet no one on that list will be re-signed

Member
aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

It’s more valuable to look at the players they’ll lose and won’t really have to replace, either from internal candidates or because they just suck (like Burnett).

Only Burnett, Soriano, Feliciano, and (to a certain degree) Jeter are truly money that’s coming off the books.

Rivera, Kuroda, Martin, and Swisher will either have to be resigned, likely to raises, or (more difficult to do) replaced.

What’s more, they’ll have to extend Cano and Granderson the following year at a very, very high rate.

If you look at what’s actual “dead money,” the Yankees don’t have the payroll room to make huge acquisitions the next two years and stay at the $200MM they’ve been at for years. And there’s even talk of getting down below the 2014 $189MM luxury tax threshold.

Member
aricollins
3 years 5 months ago

It’s more valuable to look at the players they’ll lose and won’t really have to replace, either from internal candidates or because they just suck (like Burnett).

Only Burnett, Soriano, Feliciano, and (to a certain degree) Jeter are truly money that’s coming off the books.

Rivera, Kuroda, Martin, and Swisher will either have to be resigned, likely to raises, or (more difficult to do) replaced.

What’s more, they’ll have to extend Cano and Granderson the following year at a very, very high rate.

If you look at what’s actual “dead money,” the Yankees don’t have the payroll room to make huge acquisitions the next two years and stay at the $200MM they’ve been at for years. And there’s even talk of getting down below the 2014 $189MM luxury tax threshold.

Member
Andrew Rosner
3 years 5 months ago

Youklis is going to be traded before he becomes a FA to make room for Middlebrooks

Member
William Kafer
3 years 5 months ago

Are you talking about them picking up the option next year, or signing him to something after that?

Edit: Re: Youkilis

Member
notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

barring a significant injury in 2012, his option is a no-brainer. but unless he’s taking a discount to DH, it’s also a no-brainer to let him walk after that

he’d be an ideal replacement for votto in cincinnati

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

The Yankees’ deepest position in the farm is catcher. Martin will likely not have to be replaced by a FA. Rivera’s natural replacement is Robertson and they have demonstrated a pretty damning ability to produce high-end relievers, so Mo, though irreplaceable in nature, will have his closer position filled. 

Currently, NY has 7 starters, plus another four or five in the minors who will be MLB ready by the end of 2012, so how exactly is Kuroda irreplaceable? As it is CC, Nova, Pineda and if they choose, Hughes, are under contract for the foreseeable future. Swisher is the only one you listed who might need a replacement or at least a stop-gap, and even then NY has some high-end OF in the system (look at their top 10 prospects). Even so, you just tried to cross 40 million off dumpings, when in reality it’s closer to 10 million.

So that’s 30 million, at a minimum, free’d up right there by the end of 2013. 

Then you can start talking about Burnett, Soriano, Feliciano and Jeter, which is another 50 or so million.

So that’s about 80 million to spend money on possibly a back-end starter (assuming Banuelos, Betances, Mitchell, Phelps etc. all somehow turn into busts as a five starter) or on a shortstop (assuming A-Rod is no longer at third, and Nunez replaces him and not Jeter.)

Otherwise, the original poster is correct. NY has a ton of money coming off the books the next two years and there are already natural replacements. Even with raises to Granderson and Cano, that’s 20 million per year tops. NY is going to have at least 40 of the remaining 60 left to chop off the payroll if they wanted, and they only need to cut about 20 million.

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

The Yankees’ deepest position in the farm is catcher. Martin will likely not have to be replaced by a FA. Rivera’s natural replacement is Robertson and they have demonstrated a pretty damning ability to produce high-end relievers, so Mo, though irreplaceable in nature, will have his closer position filled. 

Currently, NY has 7 starters, plus another four or five in the minors who will be MLB ready by the end of 2012, so how exactly is Kuroda irreplaceable? As it is CC, Nova, Pineda and if they choose, Hughes, are under contract for the foreseeable future. Swisher is the only one you listed who might need a replacement or at least a stop-gap, and even then NY has some high-end OF in the system (look at their top 10 prospects). Even so, you just tried to cross 40 million off dumpings, when in reality it’s closer to 10 million.

So that’s 30 million, at a minimum, free’d up right there by the end of 2013. 

Then you can start talking about Burnett, Soriano, Feliciano and Jeter, which is another 50 or so million.

So that’s about 80 million to spend money on possibly a back-end starter (assuming Banuelos, Betances, Mitchell, Phelps etc. all somehow turn into busts as a five starter) or on a shortstop (assuming A-Rod is no longer at third, and Nunez replaces him and not Jeter.)

Otherwise, the original poster is correct. NY has a ton of money coming off the books the next two years and there are already natural replacements. Even with raises to Granderson and Cano, that’s 20 million per year tops. NY is going to have at least 40 of the remaining 60 left to chop off the payroll if they wanted, and they only need to cut about 20 million.

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

Nunez and Robertson. Was Robertson’s season not good enough for you?

Member
Vmmercan
3 years 5 months ago

Nunez and Robertson. Was Robertson’s season not good enough for you?

Member
Jim McGrath
3 years 5 months ago

Or leave the 40 open to pick up guys that are decent and DFA’d or possible trade acquisitions like Ruggiano who was released by the Rays.
Bowden is a guy the sox have nurtured and is just ready to blossom–someone is going to pick up a pretty good prospect.