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It’s official — Red Sox will finish over luxury tax threshold for no good reason

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Tomase: Sox will finish over luxury tax threshold for no good reason initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Hope James Paxton was value it.

The Red Sox crept over the luxury tax threshold by simply $4.5 million this season, which suggests they’re going to owe a small invoice, however extra importantly, set themselves as much as obtain lesser compensation in the event that they lose a free agent like Xander Bogaerts this winter.

The Associated Press lately issued its annual list of MLB payrolls and the Red Sox completed fifth at $234.5 million. They had been considered one of six groups to exceed the $230 million threshold, and the one one which’s not presently in playoff place.

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Squeezing over the tax line simply to finish in final place is the worst of each worlds. Not solely did the Red Sox obtain zero return on their funding, in addition they value themselves this winter and presumably past, since penalties stack for every successive yr over the tax.

Shedding any variety of gamers on the deadline might’ve dropped them beneath that quantity and saved them from paying any penalties, however quite than jettisoning pending free brokers Nathan Eovaldi or J.D. Martinez, they held onto each in an try to make an unlikely run on the postseason. Eovaldi has made solely two begins since Aug. 2, whereas Martinez is hitting simply .238.

Another transfer that ultimately cost them was giving Paxton $6 million to rehab from Tommy John within the hopes of constructing sufficient progress that the group might choose up his two-year, $26 million possibility. Instead, Paxton left his first rehab begin with a lat pressure after dealing with simply two batters, making his return subsequent yr extremely dangerous and possibly unlikely.

In exceeding the threshold for the primary time since 2019, the Red Sox will incur a sequence of penalties. They’ll be taxed 20 p.c on their overage, which works out to roughly $900,000. If they lose a free agent who rejected a qualifying provide — this may occasionally solely apply to Bogaerts — they’re going to obtain a fourth-round choose as a substitute of a second-rounder. If they signal such a free agent, they’re going to lose their second and fifth picks within the draft. They’ll additionally lose $1 million in worldwide bonus cash.

The penalties will compound if the Red Sox prime subsequent yr’s $233 million threshold. In that case, they’re going to owe a minimum of 30 p.c on each further greenback they spend.

Going over simply makes their method to the commerce deadline all of the extra baffling. After buying and selling beginning catcher Christian Vazquez to the Astros, they appeared nicely on their technique to shedding payroll, incurring no penalties, and coming into this vital winter rebuild with a clear slate.

Instead, they held on to everybody else, with nothing to point out for it. They’re virtually definitely going to finish beneath .500 and in final place, making that $900,000 examine further painful for John Henry to put in writing.

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