Coming out of last place in the AL East, the Red Sox are indicating a “strong willingness” to spend money to improve the roster, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Teams generally tend to spend money more freely the first year after signing a new collective bargaining agreement, Rosenthal added. He listed the Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, Rangers and Mariners, as well as the Red Sox, as teams whose spending appetite might be a little bigger this offseason.
Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, which are historically among the biggest spenders in the game, could end up showing more restraint than expected, Rosenthal wrote.
“The Dodgers, believing they are deeply talented in the major leagues, could only go for high-end players they can sign to expensive short-term contracts,” Rosenthal wrote. “The Yankees, in a similar position, could only go after [Aaron] Judge.”
So far, the Red Sox have been unable to reach an agreement with star shortstop Xander Bogaerts who has opted out of the final three years of a six-year, $120 million contract. with Boston to test the free agent market.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said re-signing Bogaerts was a top priority. But now that it is in the market, there will be increased competition for it.
Third baseman Rafael Devers has one year left on his contract, and the Red Sox will eventually have to deal with that as well.
These are two players who were already part of the Red Sox organization. Rosenthal’s report seems to indicate that the Red Sox may be looking to spend a lot of money on free agents from other teams.
Boston also has more money to spend this offseason with more than $120 million off the books. With that much money freed up, the Red Sox will have about $90 million to spend before they hit the luxury tax threshold, The Boston Globes Alex Speier screened.
At a time when younger players have been given younger roles and expensive long-term deals often end up weighing on teams, spending will depend on the whims of owners, Rosenthal wrote.
“The biggest difference could be in the way clubs spend, preferring short-term, high offers to excessive long-term guarantees,” Rosenthal wrote.
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