[image title="153036_brewers_cardinals_baseball" size="full" id="15410" align="center" alt="Julio Lugo scores for the Cardinals while being paid by the destitute Red Sox" linkto="full" ]
NoMaas did a post this morning about Boston’s “little engine that could” attitude and their 2010 payroll, which is slated to be about 170 million dollars. When I first saw that number, I thought that it was mistaken, and that it was simply the luxury tax number, which is based upon average annual value rather than actual salaries. However, Mike Axisa of RAB pointed me towards a Cot’s Contracts spreadsheet that puts Boston at about 166 million before pre-arb contracts are set, meaning they should finish at about 170M. They will almost certainly be paying the luxury tax, and will be forced to consider that when making moves during the season.
With the Yankees coming in at 212M at this point, that makes for a fairly sizable gap of 46 million dollars. However, the Red Sox have closed on the Yankees significantly this offseason, as the 2009 difference was 85 million (207 vs. 122). The Red Sox have attempted to paint themselves as the underdog for a while now, and a gap in payroll of 85 million allowed them to do so, despite the fact that they have been consistently among the most expensive teams in the sport. However, as they inch towards 200M themselves, it might be prudent for Larry Lucchino and John Henry to stop pushing the old poorhouse routine. To suggest that they need to “make the best of what they have,” as if they were a small market team that needed to make every dollar count, seems fairly ridiculous when they can afford to field a contender for 30 million more in salaries than the 2nd most expensive club in 2009 (the Mets, of course). The Red Sox are not an underdog. They are the second most expensive club in the sport, and it is time for them to stop the “little engine that could” charade.