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Tomase: Sox will finish over luxury tax threshold for no justification originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Hope James Paxton was worthwhile.

The Red Sox crept on the luxury tax threshold by simply $4.5 million this year, this means they’ll owe a little bill, but moreover, set themselves around receive lesser compensation should they lose a free of charge agent like Xander Bogaerts this winter.

The Associated Press recently issued its annual set of MLB payrollsand the Red Sox finished fifth at $234.5 million. These were among six teams to exceed the $230 million threshold, and the only person that isn’t currently in playoff position.

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Squeezing on the tax line merely to finish in last place may be the worst of both worlds. Not merely did the Red Sox receive zero return on the investment, in addition they cost themselves this winter and perhaps beyond, since penalties stack for every successive year on the tax.

Shedding a variety of players at the deadline could’ve dropped them below that number and kept them from paying any penalties, but instead than jettisoning pending free agents Nathan Eovaldi or J.D. Martinez, they held onto both so that they can make an unlikely run at the postseason. Eovaldi has made only two starts since Aug. 2, while Martinez is hitting just .238.

Another move that ultimately cost them was giving Paxton $6 millionto rehab from Tommy John in the hopes of earning enough progress that the team could grab his two-year, $26 million option. Instead, Paxton left his first rehab focus on a lat strain after facing just two batters, making his return next year highly risky and probably unlikely.

In exceeding the threshold for the very first time since 2019, the Red Sox will incur a number of penalties. Are going to taxed 20 percent on the overage, which computes to roughly $900,000. Should they lose a free of charge agent who rejected a qualifying offer — this might only connect with Bogaerts — they’ll get a fourth-round pick rather than a second-rounder. Should they sign this type of free agent, they’ll lose their second and fifth picks in the draft. They’ll also lose $1 million in international bonus money.

The penalties will compound if the Red Sox top next year’s $233 million threshold. If so, they’ll owe at the very least 30 percent on every extra dollar they spend.

Exceeding just makes their method of the trade deadline even more baffling. After trading starting catcher Christian Vazquez to the Astros, they seemed well on the solution to shedding payroll, incurring no penalties, and entering this significant winter rebuild with a clean slate.

Instead, they held to everybody else, with nothing showing for this. They’re probably likely to finish below .500 and in last place, making that $900,000 check extra painful for John Henry to create.

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