During the 2007 World Series title parade, Red Sox fans cheered their team, especially series MVP Mike Lowell. Many fans, as well as teammate Jason Varitek, held up homemade sides that read: “Re-Sign Lowell.”

Lowell, who would be 34 before the 2008 season, had just finished his second year with Boston – he was basically a salary dump by the Marlins in the Josh Beckett trade. No one figured Lowell would stay past 2007, but then he was an All-Star, and batted .400 in the World Series. Boston re-signed him to a three-year deal.

Lowell broke down at the end of 2008 and could not play in the ALCS. He played 192 games over the following two years.

We bring this us because, on Wednesday, cheers will rain upon the Boston Red Sox during their 2018 World Series title parade.

There will be fans imploring Boston to re-sign Steve Pearce, 35, the World Series MVP.

That will be a tough decision for the Red Sox, who watched their payroll skyrocket to a league-leading $228 million this year.

Boston has six free agents to consider, while making room for pay hikes through arbitration for other players.

The Red Sox already have $120 million committed to eight players in 2019 – and add another $18.5 million for Pablo Sandoval.

It’s possible David Price uses the opt-out in his contract. But with four years and $127 million left on his Boston deal, does Price think another team is going to give a 33-year-old pitcher that much?

A couple of the free agents are almost certain not to return – pitcher Drew Pomeranz and veteran infielder Ian Kinsler.

Then there are high-heat relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly. Both are 30. It seemed Kelly was one to let go, until he turned it on at the season’s end, and shined in the postseason. Can Boston afford both? If Kimbrel is gone, does Kelly become the closer, or Ryan Brasier?

The other two free agents are World Series standouts Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi. Pearce, the right-handed hitting complement to Mitch Moreland at first base, will be 36 next April. He made $6.25-million last year (similar to Moreland). I can’t see Boston offering more than a one-year deal.

Eovaldi, 28, should command an expensive, multiyear deal. He missed 2017 because of Tommy John surgery, but slowly came back into shape and recorded a 1.61 ERA in 221/3 innings in the postseason, including a gutsy, six-inning relief appearance in Game 3 of the World Series.

Boston already has Price ($31 million next year), Rick Porcello ($21 million), Chris Sale ($15 million) and two starters who are arbitration eligible, Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright.

Re-signing Eovaldi would be a boost, but it will bloat the budget.

Boston has 13 players that are arbitration eligible, meaning they will be able to negotiate some with the Red Sox. Others with less major league time will make closer to the MLB minimum ($555,000). Those include players like Andrew Benintendi ($600,000 last year) and Rafael Devers ($560,000).

Among the arbitration players expected to hit it big are Mookie Betts ($10.5 million last year), Xander Bogaerts ($7 million) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($6.1 million).

Relievers Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree are arbitration eligible for the first time, as is catcher Blake Swihart.

Of course, any of the above players could sign a multiyear deal, like catcher Christian Vazquez did last year, with his four-year deal, with a club option for 2022. Red Sox officials have expressed hope to lock up Betts long term.

Boston does have some money saved from this past year with Hanley Ramirez’s salary ($22.75 million) coming off the books. Not re-signing Pomeranz ($8.5 million) and, possibly Kimbrel ($13 million) will lighten the payroll.

Of course, there is that Sandoval deal, which ends in 2019. Plus, hobbling Dustin Pedroia is signed though 2021, including $15 million next year.

Besides looking to next year, the Red Sox must take 2020 into consideration, when Sale, Porcello Bogaerts, Bradley, Moreland and Eduardo Nunez are free agents – and Martinez has an opt-out from his deal that pays him $23.75 million yearly.

The Red Sox will parade through Boston on Wednesday.

How many will come back next year? And in 2020?

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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