Ryan Dempster won't pitch in 2014, and therefore the Sox will not have to pay him.
So, what do the Sox do with it? They can use the money to sign another free agent. They could hold on to it and use it at a later date or perhaps in a trade that allows them to take on more salary at a later date.
Lou Merloni joined Tom E. Curran and Kirk Minihane to discuss what the Sox should do with it. He doesn't expect that Dempster's departure means Stephen Drew's arrival.
"Well first off, I don't think you have to [spend it," Merloni said. "But I don't think Ben Cherington is going off the number when it comes to Stephen Drew. There's a certain number that he has out there, and if Scott [Boras] wants to take it fine, if not good luck finding another job. We're good moving forward. But one thing it does do is it does get them under that luxury tax, or not close to it. That luxury tax number, they were right up tight to it. So if you're sitting there and you're saying ok part of the decision is do we really want to sign Stephen Drew and go over this luxury tax threshold, well now it's no problem. If you want to sign him, you're still underneath it. It might make it a little bit easier, but the number, that's not going to jump just because money is freed up."
Merloni and the guys also discuss Will Middlebrooks and what he may bring to the team this season.