This offseason will be perfect if the Red Sox can pull off these moves.
Chaim Bloom has his work cut out for him to rebuild a Boston Red Sox roster that finished last in their division with the fourth-worst record in baseball. While the challenge seems steep, there is a path to success that could put the club back in contention next year.
A tight budget prevented the Red Sox from making upgrades heading into this season but Bloom should have more financial freedom this winter now that the luxury tax penalties have been reset. Boston has an estimated $31.43 million in space beneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold and they can carve out more room with a few shrewd moves.
The Red Sox need to be careful about any long-term deals they hand out in order to retain flexibility to reset the penalties again in the near future but we can’t rule out the possibility of Boston paying the tax next year. If they do, I expect that they’ll stay within the first tier where the penalties are minimal for first-time offenders.
They will spend some money this offseason but projecting them to blow beyond the tax threshold by $20+ million, which would trigger steeper penalties, is unrealistic. That makes $210 million an ideal target to cap the budget at with $230 million as the absolute maximum.
By following these steps, Boston can clear enough payroll space to make a few impact signings without trapping themselves in luxury tax hell.