By Jeff Louderback
The last Red Sox player to reach arbitration was right-handed starting pitcher Rolando Arrojo in 2002. The record will likely remain intact since the team reached terms with every arbitration-eligible player except left-handed reliever Craig Breslow.
According to media reports, Breslow filed for $2.375 million and the Red Sox countered with $2.325 million, so a resolution before an arbitration hearing is probable.
Overall, the Red Sox reached agreements with the following arbitration-eligible players:
- Jacoby Ellsbury ($9 million)
- Joel Hanrahan ($7.04 million)
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia ($4.5 million)
- Andrew Bailey ($4.1 million)
- Alfredo Aceves ($2.65 million)
- Daniel Bard ($1.86 million)
- Franklin Morales ($1.48 million)
- Andrew Miller ($1.47 million)
Currently, the Red Sox estimated 2013 payroll for luxury tax purposes is $168.7 million, according to the Providence Journal. The luxury tax threshold is $178 million this year.
Much of the $9 million plus that remains could be gobbled by Mike Napoli‘s incentives, which could increase his $5 million guaranteed salary to as much as $13 million.
This is why the Red Sox could deal from positions of depth before opening day. Saltalamacchia is expendable because the Red Sox signed David Ross and already have catchers Ryan Lavarnway, Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez on the 40-man roster. Napoli could also see time behind the plate, though he will mostly play first base to reduce wear and tear on his body.
Boston could also deal a left-handed reliever – like Breslow – since Morales is valuable as a long reliever, set-up man and potential starter, and Miller is an effective and inexpensive power arm.