LAS VEGAS — The Boston Red Sox denied Tuesday that they’re looking to cut the biggest payroll in the big leagues.

After exceeding all three luxury tax thresholds paid off in a World Series title, the Red Sox anticipate going over the levels again next year even though the levels are increasing.

Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations, dismissed reports he’s trying to trade some high-priced players, such as pitcher Rick Porcello.

“I’ve heard those tweets,” he said at the winter meetings. “We’re not looking to move anybody. We’re not driven to move anybody.”

Boston had the highest payroll for the first time in the free-agent era. The Red Sox luxury tax payroll as of Aug. 31 was nearly $239 million, and Dombrowski said he thinks the Red Sox will be over $246 million next season.

The Red Sox re-signed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi last week to a $68 million, four-year contract.

Last season Boston far exceeded the $197 million luxury tax threshold, the $217 million level for the first surcharge and the $237 million where a second surcharge starts.

That put the Red Sox on track for a luxury tax of more than $11 million and an additional penalty in next June’s amateur draft. Boston’s first pick, currently 33rd, will be dropped down 10 slots.

Next year’s tax starts at $206 million, and Boston’s initial rate will rise from 20 percent to 30 percent on its overage. The surtax on the first $20 million over goes up from 32 percent to 42 percent, and the surtax on the amount over that increases from 62.5 percent to 75 percent.

Dombrowski said his preference would be to drop below the highest surtax but “it’s not a mandate.”

Payroll-paring is not the goal.

“We’re not driven by that fact, that approach,” he said. “I would say you always listen to anything. You can always get better.”

Still, the Red Sox must prepare for future years. Chris Sale and Porcello are eligible for free agency after the 2019 season.

“I know long-term we’re not going to be able to sign all of our players,” Dombrowski said. “That brings about conversations and people calling you about various things. But I guarantee you our primary focus is to try to win a world championship in 2019, to try to repeat.”

• The Red Sox made a move at the winter meetings on Monday — with their lineup. AL MVP Mookie Betts will shift out of the leadoff spot and bat behind Andrew Benintendi, manager Alex Cora said.

“I think we’re going to maximize Mookie in a different spot. Flip-flop them, Beni leading off and Mookie hitting second. Talked to him, it makes sense,” Cora said.

“And I know Beni’s OK with it. But if you play 162 games, you’re going to come up 162 at-bats with nobody on,” said. “And last year, what I wanted from him in the leadoff spot, we accomplished. It’s a different season and we have to make adjustments, and that’s where we’re going to go.”

Betts led the majors in batting (.346) and slugging percentage (.640) and was second in on-base average (.438) for the 108-win Red Sox. He also had 84 extra-base hits, including 32 home runs.

PHILLIES: Outfielder Andrew McCutchen agreed to a $50 million, three-year contract, said a person familiar with the negotiations.

BLUE JAYS: Troy Tulowitzki was released by Toronto, which owes the oft-injured shortstop $38 million for the remaining two years of his contract.

CARDINALS-RANGERS: St. Louis traded third baseman Patrick Wisdom to Texas for infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson.

RANGERS: Former Texas pitcher Brandon McCarthy was hired by the team as special assistant to the general manager.

Texas claimed infielder Carlos Asuaje, a former Portland Sea Dog, off waivers from San Diego.

ATHLETICS: Oakland reached agreement with catcher Chris Herrmann on a $1 million, one-year contract.

WHITE SOX-PIRATES: Right-hander Ivan Nova was acquired by Chicago from Pittsburgh for minor league pitcher Yordi Rosario and $500,000 in international signing bonus pool allocation.