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Saturday, January 04, 2020

How Serious Are They?

‘John Henry said that in 2020, the Red Sox “need to be under the [luxury-tax threshold of $208 million] and that was something we’ve known for more than a year now.” Werner later clarified that it was a strong preference rather than an absolute.” (Boston Globe - Alex Speier)

Some follow up headlines;

Sox Ownership says payroll slashing is coming (NBC Sports)
Red Sox want to start cutting payroll (Yahoo)
Red Sox will cut payroll (NY Post)
Red Sox want to slash payroll for 2020 season (98.5 website)

I return now to the original comment with my emphasis added;

‘John Henry said that in 2020, the Red Sox “need to be under the [luxury-tax threshold of $208 million] and that was something we’ve known for more than a year now.” Werner later clarified that it was a strong preference rather than an absolute.

You can probably guess my question from the headline but exactly how serious were they?  Was Werner’s “clarification” a more accurate reflection of what they were thinking?  John Henry is a lot of things but he’s not exactly the most dynamic and impressive public speaker.  In 18 years of ownership can you remember five things he has said?  Is it so difficult to believe that he just botched his wording?  As a rule smart businessmen don’t disclose their plans to the entire world and you don’t get JWH’s money by being dumb (yes Karl we know, his hedge is bust and he’s virtually broke like he was in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, etc…)

In the thread regarding the ridiculous Tomase story headlined “The case for packaging Mookie Betts and David Price in a straight salary dump” some points have been made that reflect that the Sox, for a team theoretically “slashing” payroll haven’t acted like it.  Poster Walt Davis (always one of my favorites though brevity isn’t his strong suit) made a good point which I’ll summarize as…

If the Sox really want to cut payroll why then have they spent roughly $20 million on Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Perez and Martin Perez?  They could have walked away from Bradley fairly easily, Tzu-Wei Lin and Marco Hernandez can pretend to be Peraza and instead of signing Perez they could have just declared Brian Johnson their #5 starter and maybe brought back Jhoulys Chacin presumably for short money.  At that point slashing a bit more payroll wouldn’t be that tough.

Look I have no doubt, none at all, that the Sox DO want to get under the Luxury Tax number in the next couple of years and frankly that’s smart.  There are meaningful penalties in play for staying above that number.  JDM is almost certainly gone next year (and at the time it was not outrageous that he would be gone this year0 and David Price gets a lot more traceable next winter with one more year gone particularly if he rebounds some.  That $55 million savings, even with keeping Mookie (#KEEPMOOKIE) results in about a $40-45 million savings all at once.  The time to get under the cap is probably next winter.

All along I’ve believed that the Sox said what they said in part to cover themselves if JDM opted out and Price got dealt.  Had that happened they would have likely not spent big on a Martinez replacement and Price would have just been a historical fact.  Now having typed all this out they’ll probably announce that they’ve traded Price, Mookie, Xander and Fenway Park to the Marlins for the old home run statue.

Again, I don’t doubt that the Sox want to get under the luxury tax.  But I think based on their actions so far this winter I don’t think it is nearly the immediate need that has been discussed since Henry’s ill-advised (regardless of the accuracy it was a dumb thing to say) statement in September.

Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 04, 2020 at 07:09 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dock Ellis Posted: January 04, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5912918)
If the Red Sox do not go under the cap, then this will be the third year in a row that they will be over. If my understanding of the CBT is correct, then that is a 50% penalty (after being penalized 20% and 30% the last couple years).

They've also been surtaxed to death in additional fees the last two seasons for being various amounts over the cap, and if they're able to get under this year, then they can reset and avoid the 50% penalty.

Are the Red Sox really really really prepared to pay an extra $113M or so in addition to their projected $227M payroll? Is this 2020 team really worth $340M??

Am I misunderstanding what Cots says about the Red Sox and the CBT?

2019: $13,414,561 tax on $243,653,717 payroll, $206M threshold, 30% rate, $12% surtax for amount above $226M.
2018: $11,951,091 tax on $239,481,745 payroll. $197M threshold, 20% rate, 32% surtax for amount above $217M, 62.5% surtax for amount above $237M.
2017: The Red Sox CBT payroll of $191,888,422 fell under the $195M tax threshold.

Notes on Competitive Balance Tax

* Unofficial payroll for purposes of the Competitive Balance Tax under Article XXIII of MLB collective bargaining agreement. Estimated figures in italics.
* Figures include the average annual values of contracts for players on the 40-man roster, plus about $15M per club for health and pension benefits.
* Tax Thresholds: Tax is assessed on amount above $195M in 2017, $197M in 2018, $206M in 2019, $208M in 2020, and $210M in 2021.
* Tax Rate: 20% for first-time payors, 30% for second-time payors, 50% for payors for 3 or more times. Rate resets if payroll falls below tax threshold for a season.
* 12% surtax for exceeding threshold by $20M-$40M.
* 42.5% surtax for first time exceeding threshold by more than $40M. 45% surtax for exceeding threshold by more than $40M the following season(s).
* Club exceeding threshold by $40M has its first selection in the next Rule 4 draft moved back 10 places. Club picking in top 6 has its second pick moved back.
   2. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 04, 2020 at 10:12 PM (#5912923)
I have no reason to think you’re wrong but they just aren’t acting like a team that is making that their #1 priority. Or at least they aren’t willing to drop under it at the expense of gutting the team. To answer your questions, their actions seem like those of a team that IS willing to spend $340 million.
   3. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 04, 2020 at 10:45 PM (#5912930)
Only the amount over the threshold is subject to the tax... which is why no one understands why they are making such a big deal about it.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:54 AM (#5912966)
#1, is that correct? $113M in tax in addition to their $230Mil payroll? Or am I not reading your post right.
   5. Dock Ellis Posted: January 05, 2020 at 08:19 AM (#5912976)
   6. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:25 AM (#5912986)
So looking at it a little more clear eyed and Jeff is right, it’s only the overage so the tax is “only” going to be about $20-25 million this year if they don’t make any moves.
   7. Dock Ellis Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:32 AM (#5912989)
So upon more reflection/reading, the 50% tax penalty is a whole lot less than what I originally thought. My math has certainly been wrong before but it looks like as of rn, they will be paying at least $9M+ for being nearly $19M over the cap. If you consider the excess value of underpaying Mookie in 2020 that Walt has brought up elsewhere, then I agree that going over isn't a big deal.

The Yankees went over the CBT for 15 goddam years in a row, they clearly dgaf. Mookie should not stop the Red Sox from doing the same for the third year in a row. It would be nice if they manage to get rid of Price without packaging him with Mookie but agreed going under can wait until next year.
   8. Dock Ellis Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5912990)
How'd you get that $20-25M tax bill?

Cots has them at almost $19M over the $208M cap.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2020 at 09:56 AM (#5912996)
If a team runs a $248M payroll ($40M over the threshold, the max to avoid draft penalties), and are repeat "offenders" they pay 50% on the first $20M and 62% on the 2nd $20M.

So, for $22.5M p.a. extra, they can be at $40 over the tax for ever.
   10. villageidiom Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5913011)
A large-revenue team kicking off the offseason by announcing an intention to spend less is like MLB Ownership 101, isn't it? I don't think it's serious at all, other than that it's a default negotiating position. It quiets free agent talk; it frames all trade offers as ones where Boston will not be giving other teams salary relief by sending cash or taking on a trade partner's albatross contracts. It sparks discussion of the expensive players Boston might be willing to part with, and what it would take in return to make it happen.

Left unstated in Henry's comment is that they do actually want to field a winning team. If we should believe their actions over their words (we should) then the team's success since Henry bought them underscore that they do indeed want to field a winning team. We should believe that over everything else. Given that, I think the lack of action toward trading away expensive players is less a reflection of the seriousness of their stated intent than it is a reflection of the seriousness of the offers they've received to date.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5913014)
How dare you, VI! Didn't you realize that the Sox having a mere top-5 payroll instead of the highest is worse than both Marlins teardowns, the Rachel Phelps Indians plan, and Art Modell combined?
   12. Darren Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5913015)
Here's a thought I keep coming back to: what lesson do other teams take from watching the Red Sox get raked over the over coals for wanting to get under the tax threshold? My guess is that they think: never go much over in the first place. The Red Sox spent as much or more than anyone while teams like LA and NY worked to get under the threshold. Now that the Red Sox are trying to do the same, they are being mercilessly ridiculed by their fans and every corner of the press. If the Sox had simply remained below or close to the limit, this wouldn't be happening. Instead, they decided to spend and are getting called cheap morons for cutting back now.
   13. Darren Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5913016)
As for whether he meant it, I think he did. I believe they see this year as their last good chance to get under, and as Speier pointed out in a recent column, the resultant savings will be huge for them.

Yes, they have spent money on Bradley, Perez, and Peraza, but it's easy to see those moves as part of a larger plan. Peraza is cheap and a position of need, Perez is a necessary replacement for Price if they move him, and it's conceivable that teams are willing to trade for Bradley on a one-year deal.
   14. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 05, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5913019)
11 - obviously this is Larry Lucchinos fault.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5913020)
11 - obviously this is Larry Lucchinos fault.
He's finagling a way to get back in charge!
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 05, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5913057)
So, for $22.5M p.a. extra, they can be at $40[M] over the tax for ever.
Meaning that the Red Sox can save $62.5M by getting under the Luxury Tax threshold, with additional savings ahead from resetting the tax rate. Despite the consensus here that the money shouldn’t matter, Red Sox ownership has seemed pretty clear that it does.
   17. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 05, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5913073)
Now that the Red Sox are trying to do the same, they are being mercilessly ridiculed by their fans and every corner of the press.


You must be reading different press than I am. No one is blasting the Sox for trying to get under the cap; they are blasting the Sox for suggesting that moving Betts is the way to do it. Move Price, JDM, don't resign JBJ, #### even package Benintendi with someone, all those are seen as pretty ok options from what I have seen. It's the understanding they have a very good core, move some expensive pieces, get under for a year at least, sign Betts, and everyone is ok. Lose a sure-fire home-grown HOF player, just to save money, that's what people are upset about.
   18. villageidiom Posted: January 05, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5913074)
Here's a thought I keep coming back to: what lesson do other teams take from watching the Red Sox get raked over the over coals for wanting to get under the tax threshold? My guess is that they think: never go much over in the first place.
If other teams have reached the conclusion not to go over the tax threshold in the first place, I seriously doubt that it was fan reaction to Boston's 2020 plan that got them there. Most have never wanted to go over it; and all the rest have stated an intent not to stay over it. The leaders of 29 MLB teams have rightly placed zero importance on what Red Sox fans think.

11 - obviously this is Larry Lucchinos fault.
Lucchino saw plenty of marketing opportunity in spending less than the Yankees. He was ridiculed for years because he constantly tried to market Boston's massively-payrolled team as a scrappy upstart, but it was the right way at the time to set expectations: we're not guaranteed to win the World Series, but we're going to compete for it. The Yankees' recent austerity, and MLB's profitability, has undone that marketing ploy. The Yankees' payroll in 2019 was about the same as it was in 2009; in that same span Boston's payroll nearly doubled. I'm genuinely curious how Lucchino would have marketed this offseason.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: January 05, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5913077)
You must be reading different press than I am. No one is blasting the Sox for trying to get under the cap;
I don't know if it's press per se, but I'm reading what Darren is.
   20. villageidiom Posted: January 10, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5914561)
MLB.com is reporting Mookie and Boston have avoided arbitration at the bargain-basement price of $27 million.

First... That's about $3m cheaper than I thought it would be. Hey, if they're both happy I'm happy.

Second... I assume (in retrospect) that this accelerates the process of trading him. I'm assuming anyone trading for him before arbitration isn't too keen on having to conjure up an arbitration case, and Betts was likely to demand more in arbitration had that been the situation. That's not to say he would have earned more in arbitration; rather, that his price to have someone buy out his arbitration would have gone up had they wanted to avoid arbitration more than Boston would. It's also not to say that he will be traded; it's only to say that a pre-arbitration trade wasn't likely. Now that his cost is locked in for 2020 that makes things easier for trading teams to assess.

Third... As of right now, Mookie Betts is locked in on Boston's 2020 roster. Rather than further mull over the trade possibilities let's linger on the knowledge that he's with Boston. Happy thoughts.
   21. villageidiom Posted: January 10, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5914563)
Also, JBJ @ $11 million and Workman at $3.5 million, both avoiding arbitration.
EDIT: And Barnes at $3.1 million, and Hembree at $1.6 million.

The dominoes are falling.
   22. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 10, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5914600)
Here's a thought I keep coming back to: what lesson do other teams take from watching the Red Sox get raked over the over coals for wanting to get under the tax threshold? My guess is that they think: never go much over in the first place. The Red Sox spent as much or more than anyone while teams like LA and NY worked to get under the threshold. Now that the Red Sox are trying to do the same, they are being mercilessly ridiculed by their fans and every corner of the press. If the Sox had simply remained below or close to the limit, this wouldn't be happening. Instead, they decided to spend and are getting called cheap morons for cutting back now.

The Dodgers have gone from $100M+ over the threshold to nearly $40M under. They have received little ridicule because they got under the threshold by making clever decisions like trading away Matt Kemp, acquiring Matt Kemp, and then trading away Matt Kemp again. If they had traded away a Mookie Betts level of player to get under the threshold then they would have ridiculed.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5914611)
If they had traded away a Mookie Betts level of player to get under the threshold then they would have ridiculed.


The Red Sox have not traded away Mookie Betts and may or may not already have gotten ridiculed.

To be fair, the Dodgers did face a mild backlash a few years ago when they had the audacity to lower their payroll from the highest ever for any team in any American sport. I think that goes to Darren's point, that for example a team that has a payroll over three years of $180m - $175 m - $180m will be LESS likely to be called cheap than a team that goes $210m - $215m - $180m.
   24. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 10, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5914618)
Let me rephrase my argument a bit. I don’t think the Red Sox would get much, if any, ridicule if they got under the threshold by by trading Price or Eovaldi. They are getting ridiculed because trading Betts is a dumb way to get under the threshold.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5914631)
Let me rephrase my argument a bit. I don’t think the Red Sox would get much, if any, ridicule if they got under the threshold by by trading Price or Eovaldi. They are getting ridiculed because trading Betts is a dumb way to get under the threshold.
I agree mostly.

But on the other hand, they have already faced lots of criticism for merely verbalizing the goal of getting under the threshold, not even actually doing it - never mind trading Price, Eovaldi, or Betts.
   26. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 10, 2020 at 03:50 PM (#5914643)
Nate, I get what you are saying but the stories that came out right afterwards (albeit not based on things said but he Sox themselves) were that this meant Mookie and or JDM were gone so fairly or not “under the luxury tax” equals “getting rid of Mookie” for a lot of people.

On that front, I’m so happy they reached an agreement with Mookie just so I don’t have to hear how they clearly have a contentious relationship with him and have no chance of signing him.
   27. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: January 10, 2020 at 04:06 PM (#5914652)
But on the other hand, they have already faced lots of criticism for merely verbalizing the goal of getting under the threshold, not even actually doing it - never mind trading Price, Eovaldi, or Betts.

This is a fair point. Publicly stating that they wanted to get under the threshold was an unforced PR error. They should have just gone ahead and tried to do it and, as long as they did it in a prudent fashion, then they wouldn’t have faced the same negative feedback.
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 10, 2020 at 04:24 PM (#5914662)
This is a fair point. Publicly stating that they wanted to get under the threshold was an unforced PR error. They should have just gone ahead and tried to do it and, as long as they did it in a prudent fashion, then they wouldn’t have faced the same negative feedback.
The criticism may not have been as immediate, but as the off-season went on with the Red Sox making no move to improve the team that cost any money, I think most of you would have caught on, leading to criticism of the Red Sox for a sub rosa attempt to cut payroll.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5914670)
I know the Sox ownership controls the sports media like so many marionettes, but it'd be pretty hard to cut payroll secretly...
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 10, 2020 at 05:17 PM (#5914684)
I know the Sox ownership controls the sports media like so many marionettes, but it'd be pretty hard to cut payroll secretly...
Yes, that’s the problem with the ‘just don’t say anything publicly’ strategy. There’s also the matter of Dave Dombrowski’s disappearance.
   31. Darren Posted: January 11, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5914766)
All of these are good points. Maybe they didn't need to say anything specific about the lux tax limit--just saying they are happy with the players they've committed to, looking to find some moves that make sense? Then go out and sign pieces like Plawecki, Perez, and Peraza? I dunno.

Did this happen to anyone else yesterday: I was talking to a friend who said, 'hey congrats, I saw the Sox just signed Mookie!' And I was like wow, that's amazing, I'm going to go check it out... And it was, of course, that they avoided arb. Then later I went on Twitter and saw this headline with no other info: "Red Sox Sign Mookie Betts to Record Breaking Contract." Once again, it was referring to him getting the highest number for an arb player. What a roller coaster of emotions.

The players who settled all did so for about the expected amounts. Weirdly, Benintendi and ERod both asked for a fair amount less than their projected arb awards. MLBTR had Beni at $4.9M, and he's asking $4.15M (Sox offered $3.4M); they had ERod at $9.5M, he's asking $8.9M ($8.3M offer).
   32. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 11, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5914772)
Weirdly, Benintendi and ERod both asked for a fair amount less than their projected arb awards. MLBTR had Beni at $4.9M, and he's asking $4.15M (Sox offered $3.4M); they had ERod at $9.5M, he's asking $8.9M ($8.3M offer).


I imagine that’s a bit strategic. Basically the objective of the player is to set a number that is low enough for the arbitrator to think is closer to a midpoint than the club’s. So for Bennie for example;

4.9-3.4 midpoint 4.15
4.15-3.4 midpoint 3.775

From Benintendi’s standpoint he just needs the arbitrator to find 3.775 or higher as the reasonable point to get the better of the deal. So in theory if the arbitrator thinks 3.9 is the right amount then Bennie gets 3.4 in the first scenario and 4.15 in the second.
   33. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 11, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5914826)
Dan Shaughnessy had an email exchange with Henry on this issue. Henry effectively says “no, we aren’t worried about getting under the tax.” I trust that statement no more than I trust the earlier statement that the Sox had to get under the tax Still a fairly interesting if brief exchange. Looks like it’s in tomorrow’s globe.
   34. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: January 11, 2020 at 07:38 PM (#5914834)
JBJ @ 11m? The only upside I see is that it renders JDM a DH for 125+ games.
   35. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 11, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5914839)
Bradley is a good player. He’s not a star or anything but he’s a good bet to be a 2-3 WAR player which is well worth the $11 million.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2020 at 10:24 PM (#5914862)
Bradley is a good player. He’s not a star or anything but he’s a good bet to be a 2-3 WAR player which is well worth the $11 million.

I think he was a good player. The offense is dead steady at 90 wRC+. That was a good player when he was a +10 CF. But he's been dead average by DTS for two seasons, and UZR for one. As an avg. CF, he's a mediocre player.
   37. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 11, 2020 at 11:08 PM (#5914871)
Mediocre, good, whatever. Still worth $11 million for a year.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2020 at 11:19 PM (#5914873)
Mediocre, good, whatever. Still worth $11 million for a year.

Yeah, if they're trying to contend. Hard to know what the plan is.
   39. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 11, 2020 at 11:49 PM (#5914878)
My point is that at the moment the only evidence we have is that there plan is to try and contend with a team that won 108 games a year ago. They have done virtually nothing to suggest they are making getting under the tax any kind of priority.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2020 at 12:15 AM (#5914880)
They have done virtually nothing to suggest they are making getting under the tax any kind of priority.
They fired Dave Dombrowski and made numerous statements about how important it was to get under the luxury tax threshold. I’m not sure why one would discount all that. Maybe in denial?
   41. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 12, 2020 at 12:22 AM (#5914881)
Numerous=1?

Not sure how firing Dombrowski proves anything other than the team was very disappointing this season.

Hey maybe they will suddenly make a bunch of moves to get under the tax but so far they’ve done nothing meaningful to get under the tax number.
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2020 at 12:35 AM (#5914883)
Numerous=1?
I count 2 quoted at the top of this very page. It may not make sense, be easy to do, or popular with the fans, but Red Sox ownership seems to have spelled out its preferences.
   43. Darren Posted: January 12, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5914935)
You know, I keep seeing people saying that Mookie has said he will definitely go to free agency. I don't recall that. I recall him saying that he's very happy to do so but that he's willing to sign for the right number. Can anyone clarify?

Thanks.
   44. Darren Posted: January 12, 2020 at 05:32 PM (#5914984)

I imagine that’s a bit strategic. Basically the objective of the player is to set a number that is low enough for the arbitrator to think is closer to a midpoint than the club’s. So for Bennie for example;

4.9-3.4 midpoint 4.15
4.15-3.4 midpoint 3.775


I'm going to disagree here because the 4.9 number is an estimate by MLBTR of what he'd get when all is said and done, not an estimate of the owner's bid. Also, I don't think the player knows the team's # ahead of time.
   45. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: January 12, 2020 at 09:11 PM (#5915024)
Darren - I think Mookie would pretty clearly stay for market value but of course WHAT is market value is always the magic question. If the offer is right I assume he’d stay but it is the nature of negotiations that you aren’t likely to get that market value offer in either direction upfront. If Mookie wants 12/400 he’s going to ask for 12/475 and the Sox are going to offer 9/350 or something.

As for the other issue, yeah you’re right that the MLBTR estimates were just that, estimates. Presumably Benintendi had some discussions with the Sox so he had a rough idea where they would be filling. It may not be precise but he may have been concerned that asking too much would put him in a bad look for the arbitrator.
   46. Dock Ellis Posted: January 13, 2020 at 08:14 AM (#5915062)
Mookie didn't think his market value after 2017 certainly was $25M a year because he turned down 8/200.

He may stay in Boston, but I doubt it'll be without testing free agency first. I think he's made it clear that he intends on testing the waters.
   47. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2020 at 08:52 AM (#5915064)
They fired Dave Dombrowski and made numerous statements about how important it was to get under the luxury tax threshold.

I stand by my #10.
   48. Nasty Nate Posted: January 13, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5915068)
You know, I keep seeing people saying that Mookie has said he will definitely go to free agency. I don't recall that. I recall him saying that he's very happy to do so but that he's willing to sign for the right number. Can anyone clarify?
I don't think he's said either specifically. His quotes from the link in #46 definitely don't make it clear.
   49. pikepredator Posted: January 13, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5915112)
Red Sox ownership seems to have spelled out its preferences.


so far Sox ownership's preference has been to spend lots of money to field teams that can compete for championships - building the best Sox Team of all time and one of the great teams in the history of MLB.

I'm going to trust their track record over the last decade-plus over a couple of announcements that could well be positioning/posturing or something similar, as VI said above.

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