What is the Boston Red Sox's payroll for the 2024 season?

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox / Jaiden Tripi/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's 2024 offseason lived and died by the words "full throttle." The promise of money spent by ownership reeled fans who had lost interest in the last-place club right back in. And when the moves the Red Sox made this winter didn't live up to the words uttered by the front office, they became the joke of the offseason.

Eventually, after the front office realized it overhyped its plans for the Red Sox's minor changes, management admitted that the team's 2024 payroll would likely end up being less than 2023's figure, which ended up being correct. The Red Sox are one of nine teams to post lower payrolls than last season.

Boston's front office considered the outcome of the 2023 season unacceptable, or so it said. But the Red Sox haven't won a World Series in the new millennium without a top-four payroll in MLB. So far, the front office's claims that the Red Sox can compete without spending big-market money are far from correct.

The Red Sox's 2023 payroll sat just above $225 million at the end of the season. The third-most valuable franchise in the league with one of the wealthiest owners in MLB hasn't cracked the first luxury tax threshold in two years.

Boston Red Sox 2024 Payroll

Boston's active payroll for the 2024 season is $206,267,015, according to Spotrac. They carry the 11th-highest payroll in MLB and the third-highest in the American League East. The Yankees and the Blue Jays are spending more than the Sox this year while the Orioles and Rays are towards the bottom of the league.

The majority of the Red Sox's payroll is spread between just a few players. Rafael Devers, Trevor Story, Kenley Jansen, Masataka Yoshida and Lucas Giolito are the only players on the team bringing home checks in the tens of millions. Boston has been infamous recently for spending its money in the wrong places — Jansen isn't as dominant as he used to be in the closer role, Giolito never started a regular season game in a Red Sox uniform before his injury, and Story is perennially injured much like Chris Sale -- and the Sox even had to pay to get rid of him.

What is the Luxury Tax Threshold in MLB?

There is no salary cap in MLB and teams are free to spend whatever they want in terms of player salaries. However, due to differing circumstances throughout the league, there is a maximum amount of money that teams can spend without being charged for spending in excess.

The penalty is called a Competitive Balance Tax, casually referred to as a luxury tax, and it's designed to level the playing field a bit. There are multiple thresholds at which teams are charged increasing amounts of money for spending beyond the limit.

The luxury tax marks increase each year, just as players' salary demands do. MLB's first luxury tax threshold for 2024 sits at $237 million, so the Red Sox organization don't have to worry about being charged any extra this season. But the fans? They don't care. Spend to win. That's how it's done.

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