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Epstein and Red Sox preparing to be offseason's biggest spenders

Nov 10, 2009, 2:13 PM EDT

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe did some inferring based on a few Theo Epstein statements and came to the conclusion that the Red Sox may be preparing to spend a whole bunch of money this offseason
Epstein mentioned to Abraham that part of the motivation for restructuring Tim Wakefield’s contract yesterday was to save $1.5 million under the competitive balance tax. As the general manager put it: “That’s important because there are some things we want to do this winter and we don’t have a ton of room under the CBT.”
That statement seems fairly innocuous until you realize that the CTB threshold for 2010 is $170 million. Not only was the Red Sox’s payroll this year “only” $125 million, Abraham did some math on likely arbitration raises for Jonathan Papelbon, Jeremy Hermida, Hideki Okajima, and Ramon Ramirez, and came to the conclusion that they’ll have about $109 million committed for next season before doing anything via free agency.
Here’s more from Abraham:

Let’s say they sign Jason Bay for $18 million. So now they’re at $127 million. Where is that extra $43 million coming from that Theo seemed concerned about? Are the Red Sox leaving room for Roy Halladay and some other superstar? This is total conjecture, of course, and perhaps Epstein was just musing out loud. But perhaps that was a clue that the Sox are, if nothing else, giving themselves the option to make a huge splash.

Last offseason the Yankees were the biggest of big spenders, but this time around it looks like the Red Sox are positioning themselves to do some serious shopping.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 10, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    A raise for Jeremy Herminda? Now that’s a great opportunity to reflect on whether or not the Peter Principle is merely a corollary of Murphy’s Law, isn’t it?

  2. Joey B - Nov 10, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    It makes some sense to do your fishing on a bi-annual basis. The first A costs you a #1, but the second A only costs you a #2. Byt the time the NYY got around to signing Burnett, they were down to a #3. I have no idea why BB doesn’t charge the signing team a #1 they might’ve gotten from one of their own FAs leaving.

  3. Ben - Nov 10, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    Really, there aren’t the players out there this year worth a pile of money, so it’s hard to see how they’d spend that much. Another possibility is that he’s thinking ahead over the next 3 years or so, looking at the players that will be coming on the market, as well as current Sox they will want to extend (Beckett, Youk).

  4. Travis - Nov 10, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    A couple ideas here that may fit.
    a) Boston may be expecting to land Roy Halladay in a trade and then sign him to an extension, this would take a chunk out of that extra “$43 million”.
    b) Boston could be preparing to sign Josh Beckett to an extension.
    c) Boston expects to be the team that lands that Cuban guy Chapman?
    d) Any combination of the above would require atleast some of the space Abraham talked about.

  5. mick-7-1961 - Nov 10, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    I’m still partying from the Yankee’s victory.
    Good luck Bosox….our Yankees own the patent and set
    the benchmark on spending money for quality players.
    Back-to-back champions…can’t wait for 2010.

  6. Char_in_Miami - Nov 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    no matter what they end up paying hermida, it will be more than those cheapass, cheapskate marlins were willing to pay. plus, he can play multiple positions.
    and keep in mind that boston hasn’t done too badly going after the marlins’ rejects, i.e., beckett, lowell and others.

  7. Char_in_Miami - Nov 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    no matter what they end up paying hermida, it will be more than those cheapass, cheapskate marlins were willing to pay. plus, he can play multiple positions.
    and keep in mind that boston hasn’t done too badly going after the marlins’ rejects, i.e., beckett, lowell and others.

  8. CommonNow - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    The Bosox blew the next 3-5 years by losing the Texeria bidding. Everyone needs pitching, sure. The Bosox need bats and a BIG bat at that. V-tek is ready for coaching and kills the order. Pappi is maybe an average DH. Who ever they duct-tape into SS will be pitiful at the plate. Lowell’s body is going to give out. There are not enough competent replacements available to bring them back from this hole. Theo and the owners know – if they give an ‘also ran’, possibly wild card team, the nation will buy tickets and clothing enough to make them wildly profitable. Sorry Bosox Nation – there are no plans to make you a WS winner.

  9. yankeees - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    the red sox still suck …

  10. len - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    where are all of the sox fans complaining about a sallary cap and competitive imballance ..?? oh, I guess that only works if it’s not your team.

  11. Calif Sawx Fan - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Yeah, well, they gotta pay Varitek $3M too. Then they need the other $2M to assuage the emotional rant about to come out of Lester because ‘Tek will not be catching him.
    Its time to tell Papi he’s playing in Pawtucket or Portland, let him decide if he’d rather get released for $3 mill and ply his trade elsehere – its not like you can’t strike him out consistently by getting a first strike down the middle – then throw him junk he swings at and then he pops out desperate to find the ball.
    Guys like Gonazalez will play their heart out at Boston – where they are appreciated and cheering – opposed to being booed at some place like KC or Milwaukee.

  12. Bob - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Don’t be so smug – It can all end with Mariano Rivera finally falling apart due to age is 40 and 300 lbs CC stumbles and rips up his knee, and both are going to happen SOON!!!!!!
    Also, you might want to remember that Jeter, Posada, Molina, Marte Damon, Petite, to name a few are closer to 40 than 30 and as players age, injuries are a way of life and they take longer to heal. How many of them can you afford to be without?
    BTW, count of Adrian Gonzales at 1st base for the Red Sox in 2010. That will close up the gap considerably, won’t it.

  13. Old No. 27 - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Welll, wellll, wellll! Looks like someone’s trying to BUY a championship. I swear I’ve heard that before about my Yanks from a certain northern fan base. Hmmmmm.

  14. sportszombie - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:35 PM

    Funny how the Yankees win the WS in post steroid baseball. Sorry Manny and Big Poopy got nailed and ruined the Sox’s WS wins.

  15. Mike - Nov 10, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    POST-Steroid baseball? Really? As long as A-Roid is on your team, there is no such thing as POST-steroid baseball. Get over yourself.

  16. bob cottrell - Nov 10, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    you suck and so don’t the yankees!

  17. Kyle Eggert - Nov 10, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    There is only one MLB team with two World Championships this millenium and it ain’t the Yankees.

  18. Kyle Eggert - Nov 10, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    There is only one MLB team with two World Championships this millenium and it ain’t the Yankees.

  19. Mick7isDumb - Nov 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    “our Yankees own the patent and set
    the benchmark on spending money for quality players.”
    You idiot. Your team spent 9 years and 2 billion between championships. Look up facts before posting.
    I blame your mother.

  20. AllICanSayIsWow - Nov 10, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    Just have to repeat that, because I can’t get enough of this fact… it shows just how totally inept that Brian Cashman was when handed the BIGGEST payroll in baseball for years:
    He spent 9 years and 2 billion dollars between championships.
    WOW, unbelievable.

  21. David - Nov 10, 2009 at 8:33 PM

    So 2000 is not part of this millenium? is 2000 part of the 90′s? exactly when did this millenium start? the red sox had a very good run on their 2 championships, but we are teh current champs, so see ya later bosox fans, see ya next year i hope Theo does well this winter because as it stand it seems you are in for a long 2010 season.

  22. Kim - Nov 10, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    Can you say two faced? The very thing the hating Boston fans have been screaming about for years about the Yankees but of course now that their team is doing it they will find a way to justify it –but as the saying goes, “a pig with lipstick is still a pig.”
    Lets add up the score:
    Yankees – 27
    Red Sox – 7
    (and 7 doesn’t even put them in second place)

  23. KC - Nov 10, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Actually David, 2000 is not part of this millennium according to the most common interpretation. 2000 was the last year of the last millennium.
    Also, a millennium is 1000 years, so the last millennium was 1001-2000.

  24. tk - Nov 10, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    Wow, now there is is well thought out, clever remark

  25. tk1966 - Nov 10, 2009 at 10:02 PM

    “David
    So 2000 is not part of this millenium? is 2000 part of the 90′s? exactly when did this millenium start? the red sox had a very good run on their 2 championships, but we are teh current champs, so see ya later bosox fans, see ya next year i hope Theo does well this winter because as it stand it seems you are in for a long 2010 season.”
    Well, actually the millennium DID start in 2001 – 2000 was the last year of the previous millennium. Think about it – the “first” year would be year 1, not year 0. So the first year of the millennium would be 2001, not 2000. Sorry to burst your smug bubble and make you look like a buffoon.

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