The ABCs of AAVs

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- We ran a story this morning listing the Sox payroll as calculated for luxury tax purposes, which is determined on the basis of the average annual value (AAV) of any multi-year contracts.

That is not the same as what a player is being paid in 2013. For example, Jon Lester is listed at $6 million, because that is the AAV of the five-year, $30 million deal that began in 2009. But his salary for 2013 is $11.625 million, a $4 million increase from last season. The AAV of Dustin Pedroia's six-year, $40.5 million deal is $6.8 million, but Pedroia crosses the eight-figure threshold this season, drawing a $10 million salary, a $2 million increase from last season.

It works in the other direction, too. Clay Buchholz's salary for AAV purposes is calculated at $7.5 million, the average of his four-year, $30 million deal. But he'll actually be paid $5.5 million in 2013, his salary spiking to $7.7 million next year and to $12 million in 2015.

The team, of course, has calculated that what they're paying Buchholz in the future, regardless of how he performs, will be less than they would have had to pay him in salary arbitration.