FORT MYERS, Fla. — Quick quiz: Which American League East team owner said earlier this week:

“We play for championships.”

“It’s our intention to play baseball in October every year.”

“Our timeline is obviously to win this year.”

The answer is Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who made those Yankees-like statements as the Red Sox held their first day of full-squad workouts.

Sitting to Werner’s right was Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, who famously dubbed the Yankees “The Evil Empire” after they outbid the Red Sox to sign Cuban defector Jose Contreras in 2002.

Well, the times they are a-changin’. As Werner and Lucchino spoke, the Red Sox were welcoming Yoan Moncada, the 19-year-old Cuban infielder for whom Boston outbid the Yankees this week.

Moncada’s $31.5 million signing bonus was not official because the Red Sox were putting him through a series of physicals. The Yankees bid a reported $25 million for Moncada.

This comes after the Red Sox signed free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez for a combined $183 million. And after the Red Sox signed another Cuban last summer, outfielder Rusney Castillo, for $72.5 million.

The Red Sox are expected to begin the season with a payroll of just under $200 million, the highest in their history, and have the ability – and some would say the desire – to go well over $200 million to acquire an ace such as the Phillies’ Cole Hamels in a trade.

Moncada’s bonus is not part of the major-league payroll.

The Yankees, meanwhile, kept their checkbook in their pocket this offseason for big-ticket players such as Max Scherzer after last year’s $471 million free-agent spending spree did not lead to a postseason berth. The Yankees’ 2015 payroll is expected to be around $210 million.

So Boston – for now – still has a lower payroll. But the idea Boston is operating much like the Yankees is hard to ignore.

Unless you’re the Red Sox.

Lucchino laughed at the suggestion that Boston is turning into the new Evil Empire.

“Never,” he said. “There are a lot of things you could get me to say but I could never admit to that. Not in my own mind, at least. We are different. We run our franchises differently.

“There is a commonality in our willingness to invest sizable sums in baseball players, whether be they short-term additions or long-term development projects, so in that sense we’re like the Dodgers, like the Giants, like a lot of successful clubs willing to pay the price.”

Pressed on what makes the Red Sox different from the Yankees, Lucchino said: “A question of pattern and consistency over time is one way to distinguish. We’re not going to not avail ourselves of what we think is a really good baseball opportunity because someone’s going to compare us to the Yankees.”

Yankees fans would say history is on their side – 27 World Series titles to Boston’s eight. But the Red Sox have won three in 11 seasons since breaking “The Curse” in 2004, the last coming in 2013 sandwiched around two last-place finishes. The Yankees have won once (2009) in that time span.

So which franchise is which?

“There are going to be times we may look as if we’re doing the same things,” Lucchino said, “but the patterns, the practice, the history are all very different.”