The Boston Red Sox may not be as open to dealing major-league pieces to shed salary as previously reported, with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski saying his team might not change much between now and Opening Day.
"Our club is basically settled," Dombrowski said on Tuesday during the winter meetings at Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, according to Chris Cotillo of Masslive.com. He added that the team is open to anything, but downplayed the possibility of trading players off the major-league roster.
The remarks come after a report suggested the Red Sox were listening to offers for Rick Porcello, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. to get under the luxury tax. Dombrowski expressed a desire to stay under the highest threshold, though, according to Cotillo, and Bradley is reportedly high atop the Arizona Diamondbacks' wish list, as Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports.
Under the latest collective bargaining agreement, the competitive balance tax is separated into three thresholds with increasing penalties for each. Heading into 2019, the highest penalty is imposed on teams with a payroll above $246 million. The Red Sox carried nearly a $234-million payroll last season, according to Cot's Contracts.
After winning the World Series following a 108-win campaign with the highest payroll in the league, Boston retained right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and World Series MVP Steve Pearce, giving out nearly $75 million in guaranteed salary. The Red Sox face potentially losing Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, two key bullpen pieces, during free agency.
Porcello is on the final year of an expiring contract and is owed $21.125 million in 2019. Meanwhile, Bogaerts and Bradley are heading into their final years of arbitration.