2011 Red Sox Payroll Estimated Around $163 Million

Your Looking At The Highest Paid Position Player On The Red Sox Roster In 2011

The 2011 Red Sox will certainly be a great team to watch, with new additions such as Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez coming aboard to hopefully give the offense and defense a lift.  However, in order to acquire these two players, Red Sox ownership had to reach into their deep pockets and deep farm system and pay up.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox opening day payroll is expected to be around 163 million dollars, which sits second behind only the New York Yankees (who are at about $208 million).  That's right around where it was last season.

The Red Sox will have the likes of Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre coming off the books, but Carl Crawford and eventually Adrian Gonzalez will certainly cover up for their loss financially.  The Red Sox signed Carl Crawford back in December to a 7-year 142 million dollar contract.  This made Crawford the highest paid position player on the Red Sox' roster, at least for now.

The Red Sox also made arguably the biggest trade of the offseason that brought first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres in exchange for top prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, and outfielder Ramon Fuentes.  Although no extension has been signed, the belief is the Red Sox and Gonzalez have the framework of a 7-year, 152 million dollar extension in place.  Gonzalez is currently set to make just over 6 million dollars this season.

A possible Gonzalez contract extension is believed to be on hold, so the Red Sox don't have to pay the luxury tax on his expected deal. If the team doesn't ink the extension until the season begins, it doesn't count against their CBT figure until the following season. Much the same strategy was used last year when extending Josh Beckett.

The Red Sox also spent the offseason restructuring the bullpen, as they signed relievers Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler to help out.  Jenks will make $6 million next season while Wheeler will make $3 million on a one-year deal.

The Red Sox also agreed to one-year deals with Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Papelbon earlier today in order to avoid salary arbitration.  Papelbon will now make 12 million dollars while Ellsbury will make 2.4 million dollars.

Here is the breakdown of the 2011 payroll (via Boston Globe):

Pitchers

Josh Beckett $15.75 million
John Lackey: $15.25 million
Jonathan Papelbon: $12 million
Daisuke Matsuzaka: $10 million
Bobby Jenks: $6 million
Jon Lester: $5.75 million
Dan Wheeler: $3 million
Tim Wakefield: $2 million
Hideki Okajima: $1.75 million
Scott Atchison: $450,000
Matt Albers: $400,000 (guaranteed, would make $875,000 if he makes the team)

Position Players

Carl Crawford: $20 million (including bonus)
J.D. Drew: $14 million
David Ortiz: $12.5 million
Kevin Youkilis: $12 million
Mike Cameron: $7.25 million
Adrian Gonzalez: $6.3 million
Dustin Pedroia: $5.5 million
Marco Scutaro: $5 million
Jacoby Ellsbury: $2.4 million
Jason Varitek: $2 million
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: $750,000

Players With Less Than 3 Years Of Service

Clay Buchholz
Daniel Bard
Jed Lowrie
Darnell McDonald

*Player's Salary Determined By Team (About 2.50 million combined)

Pitchers Salary Total: $72.35 million

Position Player Salary Total: $87.7 million

Total: 162.5 million

This list is certainly subject to change throughout the season.  The Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez will likely come to terms on the 7-year 152 million dollar contract, increasing Gonzalez's salary with the Red Sox in 2012 from 6 million to about 22 million per season.

Also, keep in mind that the Red Sox and pitcher Clay Buchholz could discuss a possible extension if he has another good year in 2011.  Buchholz is on the "Players With Less Than 3 Years Of Service" list, so he may only get paid right around a million dollars in 2011, which certainly undersells his value to the Red Sox. 

Keep in mind also, that the Sox could decide to part ways with players like Marco Scutaro and Mike Cameron, who have been mentioned in trade talks.  GM Theo Epstein said the other day that Scutaro and Jed Lowrie could have an open competition for the starting shortstop roll in Spring Training.  Meanwhile, with the Crawford singing, Cameron is now one of the highest paid fourth outfielders in baseball.

The Red Sox will turn another big payroll in 2011, hopefully it will live up to the hype this season.

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