The Red Sox are reluctant to exceed the $178MM luxury tax threshold on player salaries, writes Nick Cafardo in his latest column for the Boston Globe. If the Sox decide to remain under the threshold, it will limit the team's spending flexibility for outfield and pitching help, effectively eliminating top-tier free agents. Cafardo discusses the club's options and touches on a few other topics in his piece. Here are a few highlights:
- The Braves have some concern about Tommy Hanson's shoulder, meaning they may end up holding on to Jair Jurrjens rather than dealing him.
- An NL GM on J.D. Drew: "I know he had a wasted year, but he can still hit, he can still defend, and for a National League team, he'd be a heck of a bat off the bench. If he wants that role. He could easily be a starter somewhere. He's not that old, and sometimes that fresh start energizes a player."
- Cafardo names the Rays, Braves, Giants, Rangers, and Cardinals as possible fits for Drew.
- A source tells Cafardo that Cody Ross is seeking a three-year deal worth about $6MM annually. Sounds like an awfully tall order for Ross' representatives at SFX.
- Mike Brown, former pitching coach for the Nippon Ham Fighters and current scout for the Diamondbacks, is confident that Yu Darvish will be very successful in the Majors: "He's the real deal. He's got great stuff, a great presence on the mound. He would definitely be a top pitcher here if he comes out."