BOSTON — The Red Sox aren’t opposed to spending more money.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry indicated Tuesday after the team introduced Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez with two press conferences at Fenway Park that Boston is willing to exceed the $189 million luxury tax threshold this offseason. It’s an important development because it suggests the Red Sox’s recent additions won’t preclude them from making other major moves, like perhaps signing Jon Lester.
“The way it’s structured, we can blow through one year,” Henry said. “Again for next year, we have tremendous flexibility, so we could go could through for one year and not overly affect us.”
The Red Sox last surpassed the luxury tax threshold in 2011.
The Red Sox’s payroll currently is around $182 million. They certainly could gain some financial wiggle room by making trades — something general manager Ben Cherington acknowledged Tuesday is increasingly likely with Sandoval and Ramirez joining the mix — but the team has several positions it still needs to address before Opening Day. The Red Sox’s top priority, of course, is assembling a viable starting rotation.
“That’s our strongest suit in the minor leagues. We have great strength in pitching coming up,” Henry said. “But obviously we’re doing everything we can to sign a top-tier pitcher, Jon Lester. And hopefully he’ll come back.”
The Red Sox reportedly committed at least $183 million to Sandoval ($95 million) and Ramirez ($88 million), which represents a stark contrast from Boston’s offseason approach the last two years. The Sox are extremely focused on fielding a contender in 2015, though, and they’re willing to spend cash to make it happen.
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