Lucchino: Red Sox Willing To Add Payroll

The Red Sox opened the season with the third largest payroll in baseball according to USA Today, but they are open to going to even higher under the right circumstances. Team president Larry Lucchino told Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin of MLB Network Radio that they're willing to add payroll to improve the pitching staff even if it takes them over the luxury tax threshold.

"I don’t think there’s any question about that," said Lucchino. "We’ve been above the threshold the last couple of years … Our goal is to field a team with more homegrown players, fewer free agents, and to have a more manageable payroll down the road. But if you’re asking about this year, we understand that each year has to be taken on its own and this year our payroll is going to be, I’d hate to make a guess, but it’ll be well over the $178 million dollar threshold."

Boston opened the season with a payroll just north of $173MM, but that number only includes the 25-man active roster and players on the disabled list. The full 40-man roster and player benefits are counted towards the luxury tax.

"It’s important to us to get under the threshold when we can, depending on when the circumstances will allow us to do so," added Lucchino. “Ultimately we’d love to field the team we need to field with fewer dollars, if that’s possible at the major league level. We’re always going to invest a tremendous amount of money into scouting and player development because that’s the secret."

The Yankees have also spoken about getting under the luxury tax threshold in the coming years, a move that would reset their luxury tax rate and qualify them to receive a rebate of a portion of their revenue sharing payments. The Red Sox would receive the same benefits by getting under the threshold.

The obvious target for pitching help would be Roy Oswalt, who remains a free agent. The Red Sox could also absorb money in a trade once the market begins to develop in a few weeks. An impending free agent like Jeremy Guthrie or Ryan Dempster could become a target, but that is just my speculation.

Full Story | 19 Comments | Categories: Boston Red Sox

19 Responses to Lucchino: Red Sox Willing To Add Payroll Leave a Reply

  1. Actions speak louder than words Larry. I’m not even as sold that the Sox need Oswalt as a true strikeout pitcher out of the bullpen. Without Bard and Pap back there, the Sox don’t have anyone they can really call on to get an important strikeout. They paid for it Thursday.

    • BoomDizzle 3 years ago

       Your FO is your problem. Red Sox fans whine about payroll, but the truth is that your team has plenty of holes due to injuries and bad expenditures. Your Boy Wonder GM really was overrated. His FA signings were mostly bad and now it is coming home to hurt the team.

  2. melonis_rex 3 years ago

    This was inevitable once Bailey went down. 

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      What was inevitable, the question/article, or the willingness to spend more money? 

      • melonis_rex 3 years ago

        The public announcement to calm the media/feed the media a bone. 

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Gotcha, just making sure you weren’t suggesting that the willingness to spend money was a reaction to the Bailey injury because they have been saying this same thing since February.

  3. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Think they need to let the rotation ride right now, or not make a trade at least and go internal route as in let Cook have a handful of starts, followed by Wilson if he is successful at Pawtucket and then Ohlendorf if he does ok there. Dempster needs to stick in the NL and don’t want him anywhere near Fenway period, while have always been a Guthrie fan, think he should stay in the NL..

    Only if they can somehow find a really good SP on the discount rate, like Garza (won’t happen) or somehow Oswalt decides he will pitch in Boston should they make a move towards another SP. Dempster is no better than what they have and the cost to rent Guthrie really concerns me.. Sure the O’s had horrible defense behind him that hurt him some, but not sure he could be an awfully lot better in the AL East when his stuff should play up an awfully lot better in the weaker NL.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      I think the first part of your first sentence hit the nail on the head: “Think they need to let the rotation ride right now.”  It’s been one day, we have no idea how much success the pitching staff is going to have, and until we do there’s no reason to go out and do anything.  Of course, if for some reason the opportunity should arise to bring in a pitcher who would be better than what we have at the back of our rotation even assuming success then you would have to do it (assuming the cost isn’t outrageous).

      • Joseph Jonathan Herrera 3 years ago

        The Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, and so far we have seen 4 of them.  I think a larger sample must be taken.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Yeah.. I know Maine.. I was a late Bard convert to the rotation and already on the fence about wanting him back in the BP, but really..I think the pieces for the BP are there if Bobby V will utilize Melencon as the closer, Aces as the 8th IP setup, Albers as the 6-7IP guy (we disagree here understand) until he shows not able and shares that duty with Bowden. Padilla and Atch as long people with Bowden doing anything form 6-8th inning mopup. Morales as the lefty specialist.

        As for the rotation? Didn’t say to not be on the lookout for anyone, but not for inferior SP.. As in no more Bedard types who are permanent inhabitants of the DL who have all the potential in the world, but slim chances of helping and will cost trade chips who could be used later on. If they are going to acquire someone? Go all the way and try to get someone who will help now and in the future..Like a Matty Garza.

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          I don’t know yet how Bobby is going to use the closer, but used traditionally (coming in to a fresh inning just to get three outs) I don’t mind him giving the role to Aceves; that leaves Melancon to get the actual high leverage situations (8th inning, guys on base/in scoring position, and a close game).  I disagree a little about where to use guys, but I agree that the pieces are there for an above average bullpen.

      • Redsox33 3 years ago

        Did you go to the Seadogs dinner Tuesday?

  4. jondogg2010 3 years ago

    Two Words: Roy Oswalt. Enough with the bs, just offer him a prorated $10 MM contract meaning he would start to get paid when he becomes active on the 25 man roster. Assuming the 60 days theory is true, he’d bank about $7MM to make 25 starts… sounds like a no brainer if I’m Oswalt. Plus you have to (as a player I know I would) consider that I’m more valuable to the Red Sox than X team.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      Maybe…  But I’m kind of off the Oswalt bandwagon at this point.  I would have loved to have added him to the rotation to start the year, but with him not likely being ready until almost the trade deadline it kind of defeats the purpose.  Who knows what pitchers could become available at the deadline, but there will almost certainly be some high quality pitching available, they will have actually been in the game all season (already in mid-season form, not coming in like they just ended spring training), and will likely be cheaper than Oswalt (money-wise).

      I would still love having Oswalt’s talent on the Red Sox, I’m just not sure that it’s the best option at this point.

  5. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Interesting tweet from PGammo:

    “Proof that Lucchino willing to listen on adding $–he called an NL GM about Oswalt, but was dissuaded from signing him.”

  6. diesel2410 3 years ago

    Kinda sad how they can’t compete with a team with a third of their payroll

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      What are you talking about?

    • CircusFresh 3 years ago

      Sure, for now, but when all those 1st and 2nd rounders become FAs and there are no overall #1s, #2s or #3s left in the system will they really be able to compete?

      Who really thinks they can re-sign Matt Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee for anywhere close to what each would get on the open FA market?

      BTW in which way do you mean ‘Compete?’  Because last time I checked the Red Sox and Yankees make ridiculous money v. a team that cannot sell out its own indoor stadium during the playoffs.  Not really competing are we…Tampa is an illusion. 

      You cannot expect a franchise to succeed when nobody in your town cares about that franchise.

      Has Tampa won anything?  No.  The Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees all have rings from the past decade, Tampa has nothing.

      So comparisons again: 

      Red Sox – 2 WS rings, make buckets of cash and have the resources to go out and get talent.

      Tampa – no rings, no money, nobody goes to the games and all of their talent will soon be priced out of their cheap financial situation.

      Not much of a comparison and really not much to brag about.

Leave a Reply