Are the Red Sox pretty much done tweaking their roster for the 2013 season?
The luxury tax threshold for the 2013 season based on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is $178m. It will increase to $189m for the 2014-2016 seasons.
Based on some rough back-of-the-envelope math, the impending Mike Napoli signing will put the Red Sox payroll right near $160m. Considering the incentives* reportedly included in the deal, the signing probably puts the projected 40-man roster at around $166-168m – right in line with where the team has been the past few seasons.
If the team is indeed finished making major acquisitions or trades, the rundown looks like this:
Veterans / Free Agents:
John Lackey – $16.0m
David Ortiz – $14.5m
Ryan Dempster – $13.25m
Shane Victorino – $13.0m
Jon Lester – $11.6m
Dustin Pedroia – $10.25m
Stephen Drew – $9.5m
Clay Buchholz – $5.75m
Johnny Gomes – $5.0m
Mike Napoli – $8.5m*
Koji Uehara – $4.25m
David Ross – $3.1m
Jose Iglesias – $2.1m
*Incentives could escalate Napoli’s deal to a value of $13.0m. However, without knowing the particulars, we’ve split the difference in the base pay of $5m and the $13m maximum with escalators and projected Napoli’s 2013 compensation to be $8.5m.
Jacoby Ellsbury – $9.0m
Joel Hanrahan – $7.0m
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – $4.5m
Andrew Bailey – $4.1m
Craig Breslow – $3.1m (*received two-year deal, buying out first year of free agency)
Alfredo Aceves – $2.7m
Daniel Bard – $1.9m
Andrew Miller – $1.5m
Franklin Morales – $1.5m
Los Angeles Dodgers Trade:
Add in another $3.9m to cover contract buyouts and cash sent to the Dodgers (per Cot’s Contracts) as part of the team’s 2012 trade that shipped Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to LA.
0-3 Years’ Service*:
Lastly, the following players have zero to three years’ service time in the majors. Most of these players will likely receive somewhere in the neighborhood of the MLB minimum of $490,000 in 2013, per MLB’s CBA.
For our purposes, we’ve rounded up to an average 2013 salary of $500,000 for these 18 players (for a total of $9.0m):
Rubby De La Rosa
*The one exception is Junichi Tazawa, who got $920,000 in 2012 after his initial three-year/$9m MLB contract expired at the end of the 2011 season. We have assumed Tazawa’s 2013 compensation will be around $1m.
Give or take, the Sox can therefore be expected to pay about $10m to round out its 40-man roster with both low-cost contributors such as Doubront, Middlebrooks, Kalish and Middlebrooks as well as injury replacements and guys on board for organizational depth.
Not surprisingly, the Sox have put significant expenditure toward the starting rotation:
Meanwhile, while the team will need a number of younger players to fill the void this season, the payroll is still heavily skewed toward veterans (a function of the pay structure of MLB as much as it is any organizational philosophy at work).
So the Sox are in position to potentially add another impact player or two if they are able to keep their salary for 2013 under a cumulative $10m or so. However, the front office has exhibited a preference to go into the season with a little bit of wiggle room to make a trade that would take on salary during the season. With the salary cap going up to $189m next season, there would seem to be little reason to overspend to the point that would put the team at risk of a luxury tax hit this year.
Having said all that, with the bulk of available tickets slated to go on sale this weekend – and considering the front office’s track record in free agency – the likelihood the team will call it quits after it officially announces the Napoli deal may not be all that certain.