The Red Sox have the highest payroll in baseball, with more luxury tax penalties looming with any more significant financial commitments. Their principal owner John Henry also recently told WEEI.com, "We’re already over budget and we were substantially over our budget last year and this year. We’re not going to be looking to add a lot of payroll."
But appearing on the Dale & Keefe Show with Dale Arnold and Andy Hart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that he has is under no instructions to shy away from potential trade deadline acquisitions due to payroll concerns.
"No, nobody has said there are any restrictions," Dombrowski said. "I think the way we treat this ... and our ownership over here has been fantastic. John (Henry) and Tom (Werner). We have the top payroll, and Mike Gordon, in Major League Baseball. There's a reason they call it a penalty. When you go above that $246 (million) top-level you not only have to pay significant dollars from a financial perspective but you drop 10 spots in the draft and that's a big penalty. So you try and not do it. We really went into last year not want to do that but we did exceed it because we thought the moves would make a difference for us. So there is no reason anybody has said you can't do it, but you also have to have a real significant reason you are going to go above that. We have a lot of good players that I think we can show we can run with the guys that we have, but if there is a right piece out there we think can make a difference nobody said you can't do it."
Dombrowski also touched on Mookie Betts' contract and the idea that the outfielder -- who will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season -- might be a candidate to be traded.
"Ever trading any player, I've always said you always consider trading any player you possibly have," Dombrowski noted. "When I was with Detroit Miguel Cabrera was the MVP and you're in the position where he won the Triple Crown. I used to say would I would trade Miguel Cabrera, yeah I would trade Miguel Cabrera because if you could get two Miguel Cabreras for one you would do that. So it doesn't happen very often but you have to be open-minded. So, sure, could you ever do that with any player the answer would be, 'Yes.' Is it likely, most likely not but, again, you can never tell what happens with any particular player."
"I think he likes Boston. I think he would like to stay here. But I think that everybody also understands there are finances that are involved in every decision every free agent makes."