Red Sox payroll starting to become clear

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
4:57
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Earlier this spring, Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino estimated the team's payroll this season would be the highest it has ever been, in the $190-plus-million range. An early look at the numbers shows he was probably just about right with his estimation.

With Friday's announcement of contracts for 16 non-arbitration eligible players, we now have salary figures for everyone on the Red Sox 40-man roster, meaning we can calculate, roughly, what the Opening Day payroll will be. In addition to the salary figures for each player, the final payroll number (for luxury tax purposes) includes both player salaries and between $10-15 million for benefits and insurance.

The total salary of the 40-man roster comes to $177,977,119. Adding in the benefits and insurance, that brings it to $188-193 million. This number will fluctuate because some players on split contracts will not receive major league salaries if they play in the minors. For example, if Michael Bowden ($484,000) doesn't sniff the major league roster this season his salary hit will be significantly less, whereas Jose Iglesais' $2,060,000 will be counted toward the final payroll number even if he spends the season in Triple-A because he signed a major league deal (a non-split contract).

The number would also increase if the Red Sox make any trades or sign any other free agents (Roy Oswalt, anyone?) before the end of the season.

To the right is a player-by-player look at the payroll for 2012 (signing bonuses prorated).

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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