After getting swept by the Rays in a pivotal series that left the Red Sox 1 1/2 games back of the American League East lead, it’s easy to wonder where they went wrong.
The most obvious place to start is their decision not to add any significant contracts beyond Kyle Schwarber‘s prorated $7 million salary before Friday’s trade deadline. The Sox’ payroll should end the year around $205 million for luxury tax purposes, slightly under the $210 million threshold.
Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said he didn’t want to exceed that threshold this year.
“We were mindful of it, I think we have to be, because there are implications to crossing that line that go beyond just money and some of those implications actually hurt our competitiveness and could hurt our talent base over time,” he said. “We were mindful of it but it was never a hard line. We did explore a lot of possibilities this week that would have taken us over. We just looked at it as something that we need to factor in.
“Was it worth the cost? Ultimately there were some things we explored that we certainly would have done that for. We just didn’t feel like it was worth the cost in talent let alone the additional effects of going over the line.”
The only penalty for going over this year would have been a 20% tax on any salary that goes over.…