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Report: Red Sox listening to offers for Porcello, Bogaerts, Bradley in attempt to shed payroll

John Tomase
December 11, 2018 - 4:48 pm

The Red Sox are reportedly entertaining trade offers for Rick Porcello, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. in an effort to clear salary from the game's highest payroll, according to a report from USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Per Nightengale (via Twitter):

"The Boston #Redsox, trying to clear salary space for bullpen help, are openly listening to offers on Rick Porcello, and rivals insist also are willing to talk about Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr."

Porcello is due $21 million this season before hitting free agency in the fall. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bogaerts to make $11.9 million in arbitration, with Bradley earning $7.9 million. Bogaerts will be eligible for free agency following the season, while the Red Sox retain control of Bradley for two more years.

The Red Sox boasted the game's highest payroll en route to a World Series in 2018, but would like to remain below the highest luxury tax threshold so as not to incur overage penalties, as well as hits to their draft position and international bonus pool allotment. The Globe's Alex Speier notes that the Red Sox have about $235 million already committed to next season in the wake of Nathan Eovaldi's four-year, $68 million deal. At least some of the money they save in any potential deal would likely be used to address bullpen needs.

What might the Red Sox receive in return for Porcello? It's hard to imagine the right-hander having more value to any team other than Boston, which can utilize his inning-eating capabilities for one more season before letting him walk in free agency for a draft pick. It's also worth noting that he's considered a clubhouse leader.

An argument can be made that given the precarious position the Red Sox face in the next three years with some of their young stars hitting free agency, they might as well just load up for one more run in 2019.

As for Bogaerts, moving him now might be even more surprising, though he has never quite blossomed like the Red Sox envisioned when he played a role in winning the 2013 World Series as a 21-year-old.