How much flexibility would freeing up 2.1 million (if he were traded for prospects only) create?
Having 42 million tied up in Dice-K, Lackey and Crawford creates a lack of flexibility - to which there is no quick fix.
Either they decide to accept the fact that the cost of business will include blowing by the luxury tax threshold or they "make do" with their 170 million dollar lineup.
Edit: Adding the thought...
Iglesias is a very realistic option for being a solution to the flexibility problem. Keeping him and eventually having him at shortstop secures that position at an AAV below what they currently are and have been committing to that position in the future.
Considering that they may only be talking about $8-9 million in space, $2 million would be rather significant. Certainly not as significant as moving Scutaro, but still it's substantial. Iglesias is not a major league ready player, and he is being paid $2 million against the cap. He has value, and can be used to acquire a piece that will be able to help the major league team. He's not a face of the franchise prospect. He's Rey Ordonez.
Edit: I posted the AAV's in another thread, but I'll quote it herehttp://sonsofsamhorn...73#entry3878673
Per Cots we have $131,435,119 tied into the following players:
Adrian Gonzalez ($21,857,143, AAV $22,000,000)
Carl Crawford ($20,357,143, AAV $20,285,714)
Josh Beckett ($17,000,000, AAV $17,000,000)
John Lackey ($15,950,000, AAV $17,000,000 or $13,833,333 with $500K 2015 option)
Kevin Youkilis ($12,250,000, AAV $10,281,250)
Daisuke Matsuzaka ($10,333,333, AAV $9,000,000)
Dustin Pedroia ($8,250,000, AAV $6,750,000)
Jon Lester ($7,625,000, AAV $6,000,000)
Bobby Jenks ($6,000,000 AAV $6,000,000)
Marco Scutaro ($6,000,000 AAV $4,500,000 - I believe that's how this is handled as the buyout was $1.5 million)
Clay Buchholz ($3,750,000, AAV $7,486,250)
Jose Iglesias ($2,062,500, AAV $2,062,500)
With Lackey's AAV at $13.833 and Scutaro's at $4.5 this puts the AAV at $125,199,047. If I'm wrong on any of this, I apologize. I would guess that the concern here is the luxury tax - they have played around with the luxury tax #s before (Bill Hall is one that comes to mind). I have no idea what Jacoby will get in Arbitration, but with him and Ortiz + Darvish and/or Kuroda and a closer/bullpen arms it's very easy to see how they would exceed $178 million.
Considering that Lackey's $500K option doesn't kick in until he actually misses the time, I would think that the AAV wouldn't be bumped down to $13.833 and that it would effect the AAV for 2013 and beyond. I don't know why this would be any different than the logic behind extending Gonzalez after opening day
Edited by HangingW/ScottCooper, 08 December 2011 - 12:08 PM.