Red Sox owe $12 million in luxury tax, showing why they'd want to shed payroll

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Wondering why the Red Sox would consider trading key contributors such as Rick Porcello and Jackie Bradley Jr.? This might be a big reason why. 

According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox owe around $12 million in luxury tax payments after having the highest payroll in baseball this past season. The Nationals are the only other team to pay the tax, but their total was down around $2 million. 

The Red Sox will also face a new penalty. Because they were $40 million over the luxury tax threshold ($197 million), their first pick in the 2019 MLB amateur draft will be dropped 10 places (From 33 to 43). For a team with a somewhat depleted farm system, those spots matter. 

So, when rumors persist that the Red Sox would consider trading Porcello, who is owed $21 million next year, or Bradley, who has two years left on his contract,  or shortstop Xander Bogaerts, a free agent like Porcello after 2019, avoiding another luxury-tax hit might explain why.

It is not uncommon for this organization to find itself over the tax. According to AP, the only other champions besides the '04, '07 and '18 Red Sox to owe the tax were the '09 Yankees and '16 Cubs. 

With next year's free agency period featuring Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, if he opts out, and Chris Sale, the Red Sox have some important decisions to make with their payroll construction. Whether they will be able to keep this group together remains to be seen. 

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