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Dave Dombrowski offers his take on Red Sox offseason, Hanley Ramirez, team payroll, and finding a No. 1 starter 10.13.15 at 4:37 pm ET
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Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon at Fenway Park, laying out some thoughts heading into the offseason. To wit:

* Asked to estimate the team’s projected payroll, Dombrowski suggested that 2015’s output — which topped the $189 million luxury tax threshold and pushed $200 million — would be a good barometer.

“It’s not going to go backwards,” he said.

* The Hanley Ramirez question. With Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, and Rusney Castillo the current starting outfield, and David Ortiz ensconced at designated hitter, Ramirez’s only position is first base, which he has never played in the big leagues.

The Red Sox have no choice but to hope he makes the transition after failing in the outfield.

“We need to do everything we can to make that work,” Dombrowski said.

Ramirez, who is entering the second year of a four-year, $88 million contract, appears to be one of the most immovable players in the game. He won’t play winter ball, general manager Mike Hazen noted, because the offseason focus is on getting him in shape to be ready for spring training.

“We’re committed to it,” Dombrowski said. “I believe he’s committed to it. His representatives are committed to making it work. Will it work? Time will tell.”

* Dombrowski wants a No. 1 starter.

“Start with one, go from there,” he said.

He believes the bottom of the rotation is fine, between Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Co. While no decision has been made on Clay Buchholz‘s option, it certainly sounds like the Red Sox will pick it up. The question will be finding someone to place atop the rotation and set the tone for everyone else.

“I don’t think the back end of the rotation will be the difficult part,” Dombrowski said.

Hazen sees the value of a true No. 1.

“I think there are various ways we’re going to go about this,” Dombrowski said. “I don’t think there’s anything set in stone yet. For the other guys on the pitching staff, to have a guy that shows them the way in a lot of cases, we have a lot of guys in position to do those things, but that can always help from a makeup standpoint, an experience standpoint, to be ready for a long season.”

* Dombrowski announced changes to the scouting department. Eddie Romero was promoted to VP of international scouting; Adrian Lorenzo was promoted from the dugout, where he coordinated replay challenges, among other responsibilities, to coordinator of international scouting; Brad Sloan was hired as a special assignment scout; Harrison Slutsky was promoted to coordinator of advanced scouting; Alex Gimenez was hired as a professional scouting assistant.

Read More: Dave Dombrowski, Hanley first base, hanley ramirez, Koji Uehara
A look at the updated Red Sox payroll (and correcting the record on John Lackey’s deal) 01.26.12 at 11:57 am ET
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The trade of Marco Scutaro unexpectedly freed up more payroll for luxury tax purposes than expected, as the shortstop’s $6 million salary in 2012 would have represented a $7.67 million payroll hit for luxury tax purposes. (More on that here.) Yet in another way, the Sox have slightly less flexibility than anticipated.

It had been assumed that John Lackey had given the team a couple million dollars in additional payroll flexibility with the news that Tommy John surgery that will cost him all of the 2012 season. That is because his absence for the season in turn gives the team an option on his services at the major league minimum for the 2015 season, thus seemingly turning his contract from a five-year, $82.5 million ($16.5 million AAV) contract to a six-year, $83 million contract ($13.83 million AAV).

However, that conclusion was based on a premature push of the fast-forward button. Lackey’s contract remains a five-year, $82.5 million deal. There was a conditional club option for the 2015 season that, if he missed an entire year with a preexisting elbow condition, he would pitch in 2015 for the major league minimum. That is now a club option (rather than a conditional one), rather than a guaranteed season. As such, it does not alter how Lackey’s contract impacts the team’s payroll in 2012. He still represents $16.5 million in salary against the luxury tax threshold in 2012.

That now out of the way, here’s a look at the Red Sox‘ current payroll commitments, in a year when the Red Sox appear to be budgeting for somewhere in the vicinity of $185 million to $190 million (a number that will exceed the luxury tax threshold of $178 million): Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: john lackey, luxury tax, red sox payroll,
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