Sox owners want to be under cap in '20

nattysez

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Sox ownership just met with the press and said that they intend to be under the $208m cap next year.

View: https://twitter.com/PeteAbe/status/1177696283517161474

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1177696241444106240


According to Spotrac, they have $151m in salaries (if you estimate minor league salaries and benefits) guaranteed for next year (Sale, Price, Eovaldi, Pedey, X, JDM and Vaz).

This has a lot of implications, including:
(1) re-signing Mookie and keeping JDM is almost impossible -- they'd be left with about $30m for 16 roster spots if you assume Mookie gets at least $27/year (which would be incredibly low).
(2) losing JDM by trade or opt-out would clear $22m from that $151, which would then give them room to re-sign Mookie, but then they'd still not have much room to sign any other guys to even medium-sized deals
(3) they almost assuredly can't bring JBJ back given what he'll get in arbitration if they're trying to get under the cap.

I hope this is all just pre-FA saber-rattling, otherwise...hold onto your butts. As RSS put it earlier today (his analysis must be built on some arbitration award assumptions):

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1177648839790125058
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Firesale here we come.

Makes the Eovaldi contract and the Sale extension and the Bogaerts extension all the more baffling.
 

chrisfont9

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Are we sure this means anything? The alternative is to say "we are willing to exceed the thresholds" so if you decide that it would be bad for negotiations to say this out loud, that leaves you with the sole option of saying "we intend to get under the threshold."
 

jon abbey

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Pretty shocked by this, it's hard to believe the same owner would sign off on the Eovaldi and Sale moves and then announce this less than a year later, as was stated above. Especially the Sale move, as he was already under contract for 2019, as you guys all already know.
 

soxhop411

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I bet the MLBPA is really happy that they agreed to a defacto hard salary cap in the last CBA. Literally every team is treating it as a hard cap.
Guess I should enjoy baseball while I can, since we are in for a long strike.
 

E5 Yaz

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JD isn't getting a restructured deal under this scenario
 

BJBossman

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I bet the MLBPA is really happy that they agreed to a defacto hard salary cap in the last CBA. Literally every team is treating it as a hard cap.
Guess I should enjoy baseball while I can, since we are in for a long strike.
There was a reason the MLBPA was smart enough to avoid any caps (including the draft) for so long.

Now we are all seeing why they were smart, and Tony Clark is not.
 

amfox1

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Doesn’t any acknowledgement that they would like to get under the threshold totally screw their leverage in any trade talks they might have?
Not necessarily, but it doesn't help. If Mookie is shopped, he'll likely have multiple suitors and, therefore, the offers should be reasonable (note: reasonable does not mean overwhelming - Betts has only one year left before free agency, which will cap the trade return).

Bradley will likely be a salary dump for minimal return (B- prospect), so leverage isn't a factor.

Pedroia, if traded, will be a salary dump and the Red Sox will have to add other assets (international slots and/or prospects), plus absorb the PR hit.

If JDM leaves, and the Red Sox trade Bradley and Pedroia (saving $15mm combined in the two deals), the Red Sox could keep Betts and still have approx. $25mm to fill the remaining holes and stay under the threshold.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Whether they stay under or go slightly over might depend entirely on what Martinez does. If he opts out, it gets a bit easier to squeeze under the cap while maintaining a semi-plausible attempt at fielding a strong team (i.e. not selling players off, perhaps signing a free agent or two). If he stays, the only way they're likely to get under or barely under would be trading Mookie (because who else is moveable and saves them money?). And I'm still of the mind that if they trade Mookie, no one is going to be pleased with the return. Not that he's not desirable to a bunch of teams, but on a 1/25 or 1/30 type deal, he's not bringing back a pack of hot prospects and certainly no one that will help in 2020.
 

jon abbey

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I mean, if I am a potential GM candidate hired by BOS and given the mandate to try to get under $208M, I feel like the almost inevitable conclusion would be to just trade everyone possible except maybe Devers and Bogaerts. The thing is that this is not a great market to do that in, teams value prospects more than ever before.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Pedroia, if traded, will be a salary dump and the Red Sox will have to add other assets (international slots and/or prospects), plus absorb the PR hit.
Who the hell is going to trade for Pedroia's dead money? That would be charity of the highest degree for a team to do that. Even if the Sox throw in some sweeteners.
 

nattysez

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Pretty shocked by this, it's hard to believe the same owner would sign off on the Eovaldi and Sale moves and then announce this less than a year later, as was stated above. Especially the Sale move, as he was already under contract for 2019, as you guys all already know.
The two hallmarks of this ownership group are that they win championships and never seem to be able to settle on a plan for doing so. The Punto trade saved their bacon the last time they did this kind of about-face. I don't love their chances of pulling off something like that again.

PS -- This is just outrageous:

Does that mean 2020 will be a “bridge year?”

“You’d have to call Theo (Epstein) on that one,” Werner said. “I’d say absolutely not. One of the things we observe, and I think we all observe, is first of all, there are teams that make the postseason with half the payroll the Red Sox have. Look at success Oakland has had this year and the Milwaukee Brewers. And we have resources.
THE WAY THOSE TEAMS DO THAT IS BY NOT PAYING GUYS LIKE PRICE AND SALE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THEIR DECLINING YEARS.
 
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amfox1

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Who the hell is going to trade for Pedroia's dead money? That would be charity of the highest degree for a team to do that.
There are teams who are willing to pay for international salary slots and/or prospects. Happens every year. It's a question of how much salary savings the Red Sox will get and whether they are willing to absorb the PR hit they would inevitably would receive.

Arizona would be a perfect candidate, due to geographics.

Not saying it's likely, but removing some of Petey's salary would be a boon, given where the Red Sox sit over the threshold.
 

TomBrunansky23

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There are teams who are willing to pay for international salary slots and/or prospects. Happens every year. It's a question of how much salary savings the Red Sox will get and whether they are willing to absorb the PR hit they would inevitably would receive.

Arizona would be a perfect candidate, due to geographics.

Not saying it's likely, but removing some of Petey's salary would be a boon, given where the Red Sox sit over the threshold.
Does Pedroia not have 10/5 rights?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There are teams who are willing to pay for international salary slots and/or prospects. Happens every year. It's a question of how much salary savings the Red Sox will get and whether they are willing to absorb the PR hit they would inevitably would receive.

Arizona would be a perfect candidate, due to geographics.

Not saying it's likely, but removing some of Petey's salary would be a boon, given where the Red Sox sit over the threshold.
The Sox have little in the way of saleable prospects (and shouldn't be giving them away if the goal is to rebuild), and they should be using their international bonus money to bolster their own farm system. I can't picture any team taking on even a million of Pedroia's dead money just to get some lottery ticket or room to spend a few hundred thousand extra on an international free agent.

Does Pedroia not have 10/5 rights?
Absolutely he does.
 

WifesASoxFan

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Sox ownership got jealous of what the Yankees are doing I guess.

Ironic since last year I was pointing to the Sox as why they needed to actually spend to win a WS again
 

BJBossman

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There are teams who are willing to pay for international salary slots and/or prospects. Happens every year. It's a question of how much salary savings the Red Sox will get and whether they are willing to absorb the PR hit they would inevitably would receive.

Arizona would be a perfect candidate, due to geographics.

Not saying it's likely, but removing some of Petey's salary would be a boon, given where the Red Sox sit over the threshold.
Does Pedroia not have 10/5 rights?
yeah I gotta imagine the only way he gets traded is if it's a David Wright/Prince fielder situation and someone would essentially be buying assets from the farm.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm actually calling BS on this. Although I don't know why they'd say it to the media... what sort of strategy this would be... but Henry and Co. are raking in the dough..... he's obviously allowed to make as much money as he wants off the Red Sox since there's no minimum salary floor.
I just don't get this... and yeah, as someone else mentioned.... why 2020? Just fucking take it for one more season, then you've defeiniely got Betts, Bradley and JDM off the roster and Henry can then go happily F himself
 

Pitt the Elder

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Pretty shocked by this, it's hard to believe the same owner would sign off on the Eovaldi and Sale moves and then announce this less than a year later, as was stated above. Especially the Sale move, as he was already under contract for 2019, as you guys all already know.
I said this in the Mookie thread, but if they've known they needed to be under the threshold for a while, then what the hell was the plan? Did they always plan to trade Mookie and/or JDM (or let him walk?). You have a lot of money tied up in a lot of players and you've forced yourself into a position to get rid of the ones that are by far performing the best.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
yeah I gotta imagine the only way he gets traded is if it's a David Wright/Prince fielder situation and someone would essentially be buying assets from the farm.
And as RHF points out, that would be an insane move for a team trying to reload. Absolutely the only way the Sox are not on the hook for Pedroia's $13.75M AAV next year is if he retires.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm actually calling BS on this. Although I don't know why they'd say it to the media... what sort of strategy this would be... but Henry and Co. are raking in the dough..... he's obviously allowed to make as much money as he wants off the Red Sox since there's no minimum salary floor.
I just don't get this... and yeah, as someone else mentioned.... why 2020? Just fucking take it for one more season, then you've defeiniely got Betts, Bradley and JDM off the roster and Henry can then go happily F himself
I'm with you. But mainly from the perspective that if Henry and Dombrowski weren't seeing eye to eye on the future, and Henry was concerned about the luxury tax, why the fuck did he allow Dombrowski to sign/extend Eovaldi, Sale and Bogaerts. I have no issue with any of those signings individually, but they're a big deal if the goal was to reduce salary starting this winter. Henry has no idea what he's doing, and that's frustrating.

Also, no definitely about JDM being off the roster after 2020. If he sticks around for 2020, there's a fair chance he doesn't opt out after 2020 so he's here through 2022.
 

jon abbey

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It's going to be really interesting to see who ends up taking the GM job, as it is looking even more difficult than it seemed a few weeks ago. SF got Zaidi in a similar situation, so maybe they'll still get someone really good, we'll see.
 

amfox1

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And as RHF points out, that would be an insane move for a team trying to reload. Absolutely the only way the Sox are not on the hook for Pedroia's $13.75M AAV next year is if he retires.
Probably so, but a team that desperately wants to get below the threshold may move heaven and earth to do so, and $5mm of Petey's salary may be the difference between staying under $208mm with a playoff competitive team or not.
 

Ale Xander

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Firesale here we come.

Makes the Eovaldi contract and the Sale extension and the Bogaerts extension all the more baffling.
Bogaerts is underpaid.

If they can get rid of 2 of 3 of Price,Sale and Eovalsi they can do it and still both sign JD and extend Mookie. I'm fine with a core of namesake, Devers, Mookie and JD if they can hit some homeruns with pitching. It is irrational, but I have more of an emotional connection with the hitters.

New head of baseball ops will have a tough job. I really want the big 4 to stay but don't know how to get it done given the starting pitching contracts. Good luck to him or her.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Bogaerts is underpaid.

If they can get rid of 2 of 3 of Price,Sale and Eovalsi they can do it and still both sign JD and extend Mookie. I'm fine with a core of namesake, Devers, Mookie and JD if they can hit some homeruns with pitching. It is irrational, but I have more of an emotional connection with the hitters.

New head of baseball ops will have a tough job. I really want the big 4 to stay but don't know how to get it done given the starting pitching contracts. Good luck to him or her.
Wasn't really commenting on whether the deals were good or not (Bogaerts in particular is a hell of a deal). Just odd to authorize those expenditures last off-season (+ spring training) then turn around and want to slash salary now. Especially if one or more of those deals is one you're now going to look to move.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
So I just did some quick seat-of-the-pants spreadsheeting and it looks to me like the Sox are on the hook for about $185M next year before the arbitration awards for Mookie and JBJ come in. That's assuming they fill every other roster slot with under-control players and don't sign any free agents at all. So they clearly can't stay under the cap while keeping both JBJ and Mookie unless Pedroia retires.

One wild card here is Benintendi's first arb year. I'm guesstimating from recent awards that he'll get about $5-6M. If they traded him and put Chavis in left and Travis full-time at 1B, that might allow them to keep both JBJ and Mookie, just barely. It would make more sense in terms of immediate bang for buck to keep Beni and Mookie and trade JBJ -- but they'll get a lot more return for Beni.

The other wild card is, of course, JDM. If he opts out, a whole lot of things become possible.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Pretty shocked by this, it's hard to believe the same owner would sign off on the Eovaldi and Sale moves and then announce this less than a year later, as was stated above. Especially the Sale move, as he was already under contract for 2019, as you guys all already know.
yeah, pinning all the blame on these deals on DD (if there is blame eventually) just feels shady to me.
 

lexrageorge

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Amazing that the feel the need to do this in 2020 as opposed to 2021. Ridiculous, I might add, given the overall financial situation of the franchise. Makes the Sale/Eovaldi extensions complete head scratchers.

Something doesn't smell right.
 

The Filthy One

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The other wild card is, of course, JDM. If he opts out, a whole lot of things become possible.
I'm not saying they will do this, but couldn't they send a message to Boras and JDM that if JDM doesn't opt out, the Sox will trade him? He can put 3 teams on his no-trade list each year. But I would imagine if the Sox paid some portion of the salary, they could find someone to take one of the top 10 hitters in the game at less than $20M per year. They might not save the full freight, but it buys them another $13-15M to play with. If you do that and trade JBJ, it seems like you can keep the rest of the team.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm not saying they will do this, but couldn't they send a message to Boras and JDM that if JDM doesn't opt out, the Sox will trade him? He can put 3 teams on his no-trade list each year. But I would imagine if the Sox paid some portion of the salary, they could find someone to take one of the top 10 hitters in the game at less than $20M per year. They might not save the full freight, but it buys them another $13-15M to play with. If you do that and trade JBJ, it seems like you can keep the rest of the team.
I don't think there's much of a threat behind that. If there's a team willing to take JD, and as good as he is the pool is limited because he's a DH, Boras is going to know that and have JD opting out to go there anyway. Have to think that a team that wants JD would rather pay a little extra cash on a 4-5 year deal than trade prospects for what could be one year of JD, even at a reduced rate.
 

The Filthy One

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I don't think there's much of a threat behind that. If there's a team willing to take JD, and as good as he is the pool is limited because he's a DH, Boras is going to know that and have JD opting out to go there anyway. Have to think that a team that wants JD would rather pay a little extra cash on a 4-5 year deal than trade prospects for what could be one year of JD, even at a reduced rate.
I'm not saying they would get back any valuable prospects. They'd effectively be selling JDM for $13-15M of salary relief for 2020. You're probably right that it's not likely, though.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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It's going to be really interesting to see who ends up taking the GM job, as it is looking even more difficult than it seemed a few weeks ago. SF got Zaidi in a similar situation, so maybe they'll still get someone really good, we'll see.
Well, on the other hand at least the new GM doesn't have to worry about being accused of riding all of DD's players if they win a championship in a few years. The next person will definitely earn their keep. That could oddly be an attraction.
 

Green Monster

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I wonder if this could be trying to persuade JD into opting out.....then possibly re-directing that money to trying to re-sign Mookie

edit: oops, just noticed that was already mentioned
 

Plympton91

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This is only surprising to me because of the Sale extension. As soon as they traded for Sale, I always assumed 2019 would be the final year of the current run and then they’d retool for 2020 onward.

Maybe the plan last winter was to ride into 2020 with the current team then dismantle it for 2021. But by laying an egg, they’re likely down tens of millions in revenue relative to projections. Henry was already quoted earlier this year as saying he was well into the red ink at this salary level, losing even more in the vain hope that a guy with a bum shoulder, a guy with a bum elbow, and a guy with a bum forearm can all pitch to their potential may be good money after bad.

They’ll go as far next year as those 3 can take them anyway, even with a degraded lineup. Trade Betts to SD for 2 of their young pitchers. Let JD walk, Nelson Cruz signed for $13 million/year. Nontender Bradley and resign him after no one else does (I looked for a contender that needed a CF, none exist. He has no market.). Then sign some of the veterans who slip through the cracks.

Vazquez, Moreland, Chavis, Bogarts, Devers, Benintendi, Bradley, ? (Castellanos, Puig, Dickerson), ? (Encarnacion/Kendrick/Zimmerman/Abreu)

Good enough if Sale, Price, and Eovaldi are healthy and Hernandez and Taylor are for real. Even plugging JDM and Mookie into that lineup won’t be enough if not.
 
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nattysez

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Maybe the plan last winter was to ride into 2020 with the current team then dismantle it for 2021
I agree with this, which makes the decision to go cheap on the bullpen in 2019 inexplicable. Go over $246 if you need to, but don't set yourself up to do a Marlins-style win-and-dismantle and then scrimp in an important area during the "win" year.
 
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The two hallmarks of this ownership group are that they win championships and never seem to be able to settle on a plan for doing so. The Punto trade saved their bacon the last time they did this kind of about-face. I don't love their chances of pulling off something like that again.

PS -- This is just outrageous:



THE WAY THOSE TEAMS DO THAT IS BY NOT PAYING GUYS LIKE PRICE AND SALE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THEIR DECLINING YEARS.
seems like werner is burning the bridge with Theo with that comment
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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If they really intend to go below 208, then trade away all the stars not named Devers and Bogaerts. Make it a real rebuild. While I’d hate being a non competitive team, they’ve won enough lately to buy themselves a couple bad years to reload.

I don’t buy it though. Why dole out all that money for Sale, etc. just to have a hard reset one year into it?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Yeah! These guys are obviously idiots!!!
Well, compared to the group here they are. We have ~20 years of data that says that the collective wisdom of SoSH would pretty much put the best GMs to shame.

And if this story is true, I can only imagine how eagerly our prospect-lovers are in awaiting this offseason. If the Sox start selling their established MLB players off, they will get the best of both worlds. Trades where the Sox are absolutely selling low and yet getting a bunch of shiny new toys, most of whom will likely never play any meaningful innings in the MLB.

Welcome to the early 2010s Astros...here is hoping that the Sox can replicate their rebuild without having to steal data. Of course, we are more likely looking at something more akin to the post 2015 Royals when its all said and done. But prospects!!!!!