Chicago Cubs

Red Sox trade RHP Travis Lakins to Cubs; Bobby Poyner outrighted to Pawtucket

Red Sox trade RHP Travis Lakins to Cubs; Bobby Poyner outrighted to Pawtucket

The Boston Red Sox have been busy making trades.

After pulling off two minor trades last week, the Red Sox announced a deal with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. It's another small move, with the Sox sending right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins to the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash consideration. Lakins was designated for assignment on Friday.

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Left-handed relief pitcher Bobby Poyner also was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket, 

Lakins posted an 0-1 record with a 3.38 ERA, 18 strikeouts, 10 walks and a 1.41 WHIP in 23 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2019.

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Red Sox get a $13.4 million luxury tax bill on MLB's highest payroll

Red Sox get a $13.4 million luxury tax bill on MLB's highest payroll

Why do the Red Sox seem so adamant about getting under $208 million in payroll for next season?

It's got everything to do with the luxury-tax bill sent to them by Major League Baseball for their MLB-leading payroll of $228 million for 2019. That bill was $13.4 million, according to figures obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press.

The Chicago Cubs ($7.6 million) and New York Yankees ($6.7 million) were the only other teams that will have to pay the luxury tax, according to the AP.  Of the three, only the Yankees made the playoffs in 2019. 

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This bill makes it $50 million in luxury taxes paid by the Red Sox since the system was put in place in 2003. The Yankees have paid a whopping $348 million in luxury taxes and appear on their way again in 2020 after giving right-hander Gerrit Cole a record nine-year, $324 million contract. 

The Red Sox are hoping that their 2019 luxury tax bill is their last one for a while. They have made it a stated goal of getting under the $208 million payroll threshold where the tax kicks in. 

"This year we need to be under the CBT [competitive balance tax] and that was something we've known for more than a year now," Red Sox owner John Henry said back in October. "If you don't reset, there are penalties, so we've known for some time now we needed to reset as other clubs have done."

New Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, with a history of success with small-payroll Tampa Bay Rays (who had MLB's lowest payroll at $67 million), was brought in and charged with getting the Sox payroll reduced. Rumors of Boston shedding big-money players such as Mookie Betts and David Price in trades have swirled all offseason.

Ex-Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli joins Cubs coaching staff

Ex-Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli joins Cubs coaching staff

Yet another former member of the Boston Red Sox has joined the Chicago Cubs.

Former Sox slugger Mike Napoli has joined the Cubs as a quality assurance coach, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Napoli joins fellow 2013 World Series champion David Ross on the Cubs staff. Ross replaced Joe Maddon as Chicago's manager last month.

Ex-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has served as Cubs president of baseball operations for the last eight years. Former Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie recently interviewed for the Cubs' bullpen coach job.

In three seasons as Boston's DH/first baseman, Napoli hit .242 with 53 home runs.

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