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ALEX SPEIER

Red Sox have some payroll flexibility — but not a lot

John Farrell and Dave DombrowskiJim Davis/Globe Staff/File

The structure of Chris Sale’s five-year, $32.5 million was an appealing element to the Red Sox, in that it made it possible to add an ace without jeopardizing the team’s desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold.

While Sale will make $12 million in 2017, for luxury tax purposes — which calculate the average annual value of the deal — he will count for just $6,769,562.50 against the team’s payroll.

Infielder Mitch Moreland, according to the Globe’s Peter Abraham, will get $5.5 million.

Reliever Tyler Thornburg is likely due to get a bit over $2 million as a first-time arbitration-eligible player.

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Bundle those players together, add them to the players the Red Sox have and the $13.5 million for medical benefits that all 30 teams must pay, and it brings the Red Sox’ current projected commitments to approximately $193 million. That is $2 million under the $195 million luxury tax threshold, though it fails to leave any available room for in-season maneuvers, like big league salaries for call-ups, in-season signings, trades, etc.

If the Red Sox want to have, say, $9 million or $10 million for in-season moves while staying under the $195 million luxury tax threshold, then, they’d have to clear about $7 million or $8 million from their payroll.

In theory, the team could do that either by trading Clay Buchholz ($13.5 million) or perhaps by dealing Drew Pomeranz (projected arbitration figure of $4.7 million from MLBTradeRumors.com) and Fernando Abad (projected arbitration figure of $2 million).

In other words, the Red Sox retain some flexibility as they decide what to do moving forward with their pitching assets.

Guaranteed salaries
Player 2017 AAV ($M)
David Price $31,000,000
Hanley Ramirez $22,000,000
Rick Porcello $20,630,000
Pablo Sandoval $19,000,000
Clay Buchholz $13,500,000
Dustin Pedroia $13,300,000
Craig Kimbrel $10,500,000
Chris Sale $6,770,000
Chris Young $6,500,000
Mitch Moreland* $5,500,000
10 players $148,690,000
Sources: Cot's Contracts, MLBTradeRumors.com, Major league sources; * pending physical
Arbitration eligible
Player 2017 $**
Xander Bogaerts $5,700,000
Drew Pomeranz $4,700,000
Jackie Bradley Jr. $3,300,000
Joe Kelly $2,600,000
Tyler Thornburg $2,200,000
Fernando Abad $2,000,000
Robbie Ross Jr. $1,800,000
Brock Holt $1,700,000
Sandy Leon $1,300,000
9 players $25,300,000
Sources: Cot's Contracts, MLBTradeRumors.com, Major league sources;  ** MLBTradeRumors.com estimates
Team control pre-arbitration eligible
Player 2017 projected***
Mookie Betts $800,000
Steven Wright $650,000
Carson Smith $550,000
Christian Vazquez $550,000
Eduardo Rodriguez $550,000
Matt Barnes $550,000
Heath Hembree $550,000
7 players $4,200,000
Sources: Cot's Contracts, MLBTradeRumors.com, Major league sources;  *** estimates
Commitments
Commitment Players 2017 $
Guaranteed (AAV) 10 $148,690,000
Arbitration 9 $25,300,000
Major league pre-arb 7 $4,200,000
Minor league 40-man** $1,200,000
Benefits** $13,500,000
Total 26 $192,890,000
Sources: Cot's Contracts, MLBTradeRumors.com, Major league sources; ** MLBTradeRumors.com estimates
In-season budget, total commitments, amount over luxury tax
In-season budget $
Depth call-ups** $4,000,000
Trades/midyear** $5,000,000
Incentives $1,000,000
Total $10,000,000
Commitments and in-season budget $202,890,000
Luxury tax threshold $195,000,000
Amount over threshold $7,890,000
Sources: Cot's Contracts, MLBTradeRumors.com, Major league sources; ** MLBTradeRumors.com estimates

Follow Alex Speier on Twitter @alexspeier.