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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Sox safely under luxury tax threshold

By Gordon Edes

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Here are the salaries of the 19 non-arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster signed this week by the Red Sox, per a major league source:

























The major-league minimum in 2013 is $490,000. The average salary in 2012 was a record $3.2 million. The Sox average salary in 2012 was just slightly higher, at $3.3 million.

In baseball, as illustrated most vividly by the Angels paying Mike Trout just $510,000 this season, a player’s pay is less tied to performance than it is to service time. Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, for example, would have been in position to command a much bigger pay raise based on his play last season, but until he becomes arbitration eligible, the club has all the leverage. An exception is Jose Iglesias, who as a free agent signed a four-year, $8.25 million major-league deal, with a $6 million bonus pro-rated over the four years.

The luxury tax payroll threshold for 2013 is $178 million. For those purposes, salaries are calculated based on the average annual value of a player’s contract in the case of multiyear deals, and not his specific 2013 salary. The Sox, at $149.994 million, are well short of that figure. Even after adding an additional $10 million in benefits, plus the $3.9 million they are paying the Dodgers toward the salaries of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, the Sox are around $163 million, which should keep the taxman away.

Here is the Sox payroll for 2013, from highest AAV to players making the minimum: