The Red Sox have will have seven prominent contracts come off the books now that the season is over:
J.D. Drew ($14 million)
David Ortiz ($12.5 million)
Jonathan Papelbon ($12 million)
Mike Cameron ($7.25 million)
Dan Wheeler ($3 million)
Jason Varitek ($2 million)
Tim Wakefield ($2 million)
That’s a total of $52.75 million.
Several players will be receiving raises in 2012 based on their current contracts. Adrian Gonzalez was paid $12.2 million this season (salary and signing bonus) and is going to $21 million. Jon Lester ($1.875 million) and Dustin Pedroia ($2.5 million) also get hikes.
That will eat up roughly $13 million.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles, Matt Albers, Jed Lowrie, Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Franklin Morales are among the arbitration eligible players who will receive raises. In some cases (Ellsbury and Bard), those will be significant raises.
The Sox will surely try and keep some of their free agents, perhaps Papelbon and Ortiz and maybe Wakefield on the cheap.
It’s difficult to gauge, but the Sox should have the money remaining, based on their current payroll, to chase at least one high-profile free agent.