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Dombrowski on spending past luxury tax: 'We have a chance to win, so we're all in'

John Tomase
August 01, 2018 - 1:26 pm

The Red Sox spent the winter explaining that they hoped to stay under the $237 million luxury tax threshold in order to avoid the game's highest penalties, including a 10-pick drop in the first round of the draft.

But after adding Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi, and Ian Kinsler to what was already the game's highest payroll, the Red Sox have surged past that marker

"I think it's pretty easy to calculate that we are over it," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski acknowledged on Tuesday.

So what changed? Easy. The Red Sox are a legitimate World Series favorite, and they want to give themselves every opportunity to claim another title. He can live with the penalties.

"You don't want to go over the tax number," Dombrowski said. "Because you incur a penalty. And again, penalties are not things you normally want to incur. I think it speaks a great deal to our ownership that they're willing to give us the financial wherewithal, and pay the penalties that we are, to help us win. I think the feeling is here is that this year I don't know what will happen but we have a chance to win, so we're all in.

"And that's what ownership has expressed that they're willing to do with us. Ideally, we would not like to drop 10 spots in the draft. But if that's the consequences of going over this year, we're in a position we felt that even when we discussed it, that we would do it this year. It's not something we want to do on a regular basis by any means but it's also one where I don't know where we'll be drafting, but it'll be near the end of the first round. Ten spots from there is not like dropping 10 spots from the top of the first round. I've been in drafts where I've been near the end of the first round and we've actually gotten the same guy at 40 that we would have gotten at 30. That does happen. You prefer not to do it but we determined we would do it if we had to. We're not looking to shed salaries, we're looking to win at this time."

So don't be surprised if the Red Sox are active during August, when players must first clear waivers to be dealt. The Red Sox aren't going to let a little extra salary keep them from chasing their goal.

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