If the Boston Red Sox want to keep outfielder Tommy Pham for the 2023 season, it's going to cost them more than initially thought.
Pham, who was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Red Sox in August, has a mutual option for the 2023 season. The cost was initially reported at $6 million, but new details reveal that the price tag is actually $12 million.
Boston Red Sox News
This latest revelation could make Boston less likely to keep Pham in 2023, as his salary would be twice what was initially reported. That could factor significantly into the team's budget planning this winter as it looks to rebuild on the fly from a disappointing last-place season.
Pham has been one of the few bright spots down the stretch for the Red Sox as the team slipped farther behind in the standings, delivering several clutch hits since arriving and providing a much-needed offensive upgrade in the outfield. He's going to be 35 next year, however, and Boston may feel that $12 million is too much to spend on a veteran who's likely in the decline phase of his career.
Since Alex Verdugo and Kike Hernandez are already guaranteed outfield spots for 2023, the Red Sox could seek an internal replacement such as Jarren Duran or a cheaper alternative on the free agent market. While Pham has had his moments for Boston, his .700 OPS with the team is still 90 points below his career average and suggests that he's replaceable.
With numerous key Red Sox players hitting free agency this winter, the team is expected to look considerably different next year. Given Pham's contract situation, there's a good chance that he won't be back either.