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Red Sox Notes: David Ortiz Arbitration, Finances, Wakefield, Oswalt

The Boston Red Sox and David Ortiz arbitration hearing is tomorrow, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is reporting the argument for the 'Sox will center around Ortiz accepting arbitration instead of opting to become a free agent -- which implies acknowledgement that he wouldn't have received equitable offers on the open market.

Meanwhile, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (and his source) is pushing back on rumors that owner John Henry's involvement with the Liverpool soccer club has anything to do with a scaled-back participation in free agency, and instead is more of a factor of previous GM Epstein's team reaching what is now a luxury tax threshold under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement:

’Pool not drain on Red Sox - Scott Lauber |
"The Red Sox already had $130.77 million against the luxury tax committed to 12 players for 2012 before new general manager Ben Cherington signed a free agent or settled an arbitration case. And between them, the team’s 10 arbitration-eligible players are poised to make at least $30 million, depending on the outcome of David Ortiz’ case.

Because of the spending of the past few years, Cherington wasn’t going to have as much money to burn as predecessor Theo Epstein enjoyed unless Henry agreed to allow the payroll to climb closer to $200 million."