As the Red Sox offseason is set to conclude in the next few weeks, fans of the team may be holding out for a last-minute big splash. That memorable move hasn’t come this winter, as the club has operated in a more budget conscious manner. While the Red Sox will remind fans that their payroll remains one of the highest in the game, there is speculation that something may have drained the team of potential payroll this offseason. Also, more news has come out regarding former Red Sox and current free agents Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino sounded off Friday regarding Boston’s budget. Lucchino said it is just wrong to call the Red Sox cheap, as he reminded everyone that Boston is prepared to enter the 2012 season with a franchise record payroll.
Still, Boston hasn’t made a big splash this winter, but instead has apparently been pinching pennies while other teams are signing free agents. Instead of bringing in an Edwin Jackson or Hiroki Kuroda, the Red Sox have decided to collect a bevy of low-cost arms to compete for spots in the back-end of their rotation.
This has caused many to speculate that the Red Sox just do not have as much to work this offseason as they normally would. In one of his articles from earlier in the week, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com wondered aloud if the Red Sox spendthrift ways are related to Liverpool of the English Premier League, a club which Boston’s owner John Henry also principally owns.
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reported yesterday on the issue, stating that the Sox budget watch has been caused by their excessive spending from previous years and Major League Baseball’s increased penalties on luxury tax offenders, not as a result of transactions made by the Liverpool club.
We heard yesterday that the Red Sox have extended veterans Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield minor league contracts for the 2012 season. Jon Heyman tweeted that Wakefield and Varitek have received interest from clubs other than the Red Sox this offseason. However, Heyman added that the pair of veterans are expected to decide between the Red Sox or retirement.
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