Maybe it’s the fact that it’s still a dry period news-wise combined with the players wanting more security ASAP. Either way, there seems to be a poor short-term memory from reporters and players in terms of knowing how the Red Sox handle contract extensions.
Oct 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning during game five of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David J. Phillip/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Jon Lester has stated twice now a willingness to take a hometown discount to remain in Boston. David Ortiz has recently been even more outspoken in wanting the club to pony up for at least another season.
The bottom line is this: both players currently have contracts for 2013 and there’s no rush in agreeing to extensions with both players now, even with Ryan Dempster‘s $13.25 now off the books.
That being said, I feel extensions for both players will get done at some point…during the regular season. If you look at the three most recent Red Sox contract extensions (Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett) they all had one thing in common: They all occurred AFTER Opening Day.
The reason behind that is the new deals don’t count against the current season’s luxury tax. Extending both guys before then will lessen the nice amount of wiggle room the club currently has for pending trade acquisitions later in the season.
With over $50 million due to come off the books after 2014, the luxury tax threshold for 2015 won’t be as pressing of
an issue when it comes to the raise in salaries for both players. That’s why everybody should be pretty confident that both players will be extended at some point in 2014.
Bottom line: There’s no reason to panic right now if you understand how the club handles extensions. Deals should get done at some point. However, if both guys are having career years by September and no agreements have been reached yet, then I’d start worrying.