Wednesday, June 2, 2010

36 Questions: Are the Sox actually sending Julio Lugo paychecks?

It was mentioned again when the Sox recently played the Baltimore Orioles. Julio Lugo was on the Orioles. When the Red Sox shipped Lugo off to St Louis not too long ago, they added a large chunk of cash to cover his remaining salary. But, the announcers didn’t quite word it like that. They actually said Lugo was still receiving paychecks from the Red Sox. Can that be true?

I understand the concept of sending along money. The Red Sox make a trade. Say, they send Mike Lowell to Texas. But, the Rangers can’t afford to take on that kind of salary. So, the Red Sox offer to include $9 million along with Lowell. That makes sense. I guess I always assumed that it was up to the Rangers to decide how to then use that money. They had $9 million from the Red Sox. If they decided to expand their offices with it, that was up to them. As long as they gave Mike Lowell his full salary, the rest was just bookkeeping.

But, is it done differently? When the Red Sox trade the $9 million, do they not actually send it to the Rangers? Do they just promise to send it directly to Lowell for the remainder of his contract? That sounds like something Lowell would have to agree to.

Lets go back to the Lugo example for a minute. The Red Sox made a deal with St Louis, and included an amount of money that escapes me at the moment. The exact number isn’t important. So, we send Lugo along with, say, $10 million. So the Cardinals have Lugo now, and enough money to cover the rest of his salary. They then ship him off to the Orioles. In theory, couldn’t they not send any money over to the Orioles? They could say, he’s only got $5 million left, but that’s all on you. In that case, the Orioles would have to pay Lugo. The Cardinals would have $5 million of the Red Sox deal left over that they aren’t going to give Lugo. It would be a money making maneuver for the Cards. But, is that not what happens? If you want to believe the announcers, the deal went more like this. The Cardinals traded Lugo to the Orioles. They told Baltimore that Lugo still had $5 million left on his contract. But, don’t worry; Boston is still under the agreement to send him his paychecks to cover that. Lugo checks his mailbox every month, and gets a letter from 4 Yawkey Way. That just seems weird to me.

I wouldn’t even think that the money would still be “on the books” for a team like Boston. When they offer another team $9 million along with a player, I doubt they break it out over the next couple years until the contract expires. Wouldn’t they just take a $9 million hit the year they make the trade?

Are Julio Lugo’s paychecks still signed by John Henry?

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