With the Red Sox having to cut payroll and get back to the postseason in 2020, next season could be ruined if Boston doesn’t find a way to minimize payroll.
With Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reporting that nearly everyone on the Red Sox roster is available for trade conversations, it shows that Chaim Bloom will have to be creative in order to cut payroll this offseason. The Chief Baseball Officer will have to carefully navigate this payroll-palooza the Red Sox have gotten themselves into.
The Red Sox have to fill holes on the right side of the infield, add bullpen reinforcements, and clog up the back-end of the rotation. All the while, about $30 million has to be shaved in order to drop under the luxury tax threshold.
Boston’s front office is currently looking to make a salary dump – likely with a starting pitcher as opposed to Mookie Betts – temporarily turning a blind-eye to free agency. If the report is true and the mindset described is accurate, this could set off a variety of problems for 2020.
If the Red Sox are that determined to get under the luxury tax, cutting more than $30 million seems near impossible. Minimizing $30 million wouldn’t be enough as there would be no room to improve this offseason. The only feasible way to reduce that much payroll and still upgrade is to receive major-league ready talent in return.
The primary problem however is that it seems the front office will not be upgrading the roster until more salary is cut. Cutting meaningful salary in a trade will take time to negotiate as these trades have major ramifications and could cripple the future of a franchise.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the Washington Nationals are wasting no time trying to figure out the negotiations with Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, so this offseason could move fast. That means that if the Red Sox want to snag some quality free agents, they will have to do so soon, as free agents may get scooped off the market quickly.
Overall, I hope the Red Sox won’t wait to improve the roster until payroll is diminished. The time to improve the roster is now and if Boston ends up waiting, there may not be anyone left to acquire.
If making the postseason in 2020 is truly a priority, then the Red Sox front office will understand that the time to strike is now and not sit out the offseason waiting. If they take their time in waiting to upgrade, they may not be able to, which would ruin postseason chances in 2020.