This is really the beginnings of next year's thread, but some of what happens next year might start at this trade deadline or waiver deal period:
The 9 Free Agents: Staying or Departing?
Lester: I'd offer close to $100M/5 take it or leave it. If Jon says no, then I'd look to trade him at the deadline or waiver period.
Uehara: I'd offer close to $26M/2 and do the same as with Lester.
Peavy: I'd look to trade him this year for the best we can get.
Drew: Probably untradeable, unless we chip in $$$. Do not re-sign for next year.
Pierzynski: Look to trade for a promising mid-level prospect. Do not re-sign.
Gomes: See what we can get... Do not re-sign.
Ross: Untradeable. Do not re-sign.
Badenhop: Should bring back a nice mid-level prospect. Doubtful re-sign.
Miller: Should bring back a nice prospect. Probably will not re-sign.
For arguments sake, I will assume all these guys go to free agency, but that does not mean I do not want Lester, Uehara and maybe Miller back, or that they will not return, but I will leave their slots on the roster open.
Rule 5 Eligible Players (from soxprospects.com)
The following players will be eligible for the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the 40-man roster by November 20, 2014:
Jonathan Aro, Matt Barnes, Wilfredo Boscan, Michael Brenly, Corey Brown, Miguel Celestino, David Chester, Sean Coyle, William Cuevas, Jacob Dahlstrand, Keury De La Cruz, Dayan Diaz, Luis Diaz, John Ely, Jason Garcia, Matt Gedman, Sergio Gomez, Bo Greenwell, Dreily Guerrero, Williams Jerez, Ellis Jimenez, Matty Johnson, Zach Kapstein, Jesus Loya, Mike McCarthy, Matty Ott, Mickey Pena, Aneudis Peralta, Oscar Perez, Kendrick Perkins, Carlos Pinales, Noe Ramirez, Henry Ramos, Carlos Rivero, Tim Roberson, Robby Scott, Travis Shaw, David Sopilka, Matt Spring, Blake Swihart, Andres Torres, Jose Valdez, Brayan Villarreal, Shannon Wilkerson, Madison Younginer
4 Rule 5 Eligible Players added and 7 borderline additions (see final board)
Mookie Betts does not need to be added to the 40 man roster until 2015, but I will assume he makes the roster next year.
Deven Marrero does not need to be added until 2016, but may make the MLB club and need to be added.
The 7 Returning Players (barring trades) with Luxury Tax Salary Numbers
The big 7 total: ~$70M
$4M Breslow Club Option with $100K buyout
I'll assume he returns or is traded.
5 Arbs with 2013 salary
$1.4M Carp (2nd of 3 arbs)
$1.3M Herrera (3 of 3)
$1.3M Tazawa (2 of 3)
$586K Doubront (1 of 3)
$557K Nava (1 of 3)
I'll assume all return or are traded.
The total salary should be about $7M combined.
Total: ~$82M for 13 players.
The Non Arb Players Currently on the 40 Man Roster
de la Rosa
If we do not sign any free agents (impossible), then the other 27 players needed to make the 40 man roster would be paid about $14M total.
Add: $10.1M for Player Benefits & $3.9M Dodger payment.
That leaves about $78M to spend on free agents above the minimum wage or other salary spent on who they replace.
So here's the 40 Man Roster
________ denotes probable free agents slot
SP (10): __________, __________, Lackey, Buchholz, de la Rosa, Workman, Ranaudo, Barnes, Owens, L. Diaz, Wright
RP (7): __________, Tazawa, Breslow, Mujica, Doubront, Britton, Webster, A Wilson, N Ramirez, M Pena, S Gomez
C (3): ___________, Vazquez, Swihart, Lavarnway, Butler
1B (2): Napoli, Carp, T Shaw
2B (1): Pedroia, Coyle
3B (3): Bogaerts (SS?), Middlebrooks (LF/1B?), Cecchini (LF?)
SS (1): __________, Herrera, Marrero
LF (2): __________, Nava, Hassan
CF (3): Betts, Bradley, H Ramos, C Brown
RF (2): Victorino, Holt (IF/OF), Brentz, de la Cruz
DH (1): Ortiz
So, I have a minimal of 6 free agent signings and 35 players highlighted in green. Take away the $3.3M the free agents replace (assuming minimum wage players replaced) and we have about $80M to spend on the 6 free agents.
The remaining 5 slots would be filled from the pool of 15 non highlighted players (note: Marrero does not need to be added to keep in the system).
I'd guess we keep Coyle, Shaw, Wilson, N Ramirez & Herrera.
With about $80M to spend on free agents and still remain under the luxury tax limit, we could possibly sign 4 big names and 2 role players or just 4 big names and backfill the rest.
$18M/yr N Cruz
There very well could be a trade or two that changes everything here, especially if we make a blockbuster for Stanton, but here is a nice framework to work off of.
Your thought and suggestions (or corrections) are welcome.