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Are Red Sox looking to trim payroll with a trade?

Jackie Bradley Jr. (left) is a free agent after the 2020 season, and Xander Bogaerts (right) after 2019.jim davis/Globe staff

LAS VEGAS — On Monday, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the Red Sox made it a priority to keep their roster largely intact after winning the World Series.

On Tuesday, rumors flew around the Winter Meetings that the Sox would be willing to trade Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., or Rick Porcello to trim their payroll.

So which is it? Probably a little of both.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today, citing rival teams, said the Sox are trying to clear salary space to improve the bullpen and are “openly listening” to offers on Bogaerts, Bradley, and Porcello.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic backed that up and wrote that the Sox also wanted to get under the highest luxury-tax threshold.


Bogaerts and Porcello will be free agents after the coming season. Bradley will be one after the 2020 season.

A Red Sox source told the Globe the team was indeed willing to listen but did not feel compelled to make a move.

Dombrowski acknowledged Monday that a major expenditure was unlikely as the Sox looked for bullpen pieces. But he felt the large class of free agents would allow the team to fill its needs.

The Sox also have several prospects they feel could make an impact in the second half of the season.

For a team intent on repeating as World Series champions, trading a reliable starting pitcher, the shortstop, or the center fielder would be a curious move. The Sox also demonstrated last season that they were willing to exceed the luxury-tax limits at even the highest levels.

The team’s stated intent has been to keep the championship team together next season knowing that Bogaerts, Porcello, Chris Sale, and likely J.D. Martinez — who has an opt-out clause — will be free agents. Change will be inevitable at that point.


Dombrowski will meet with reporters later today.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.