Boston acquired Kyle Schwarber at the trade deadline and still remained under the luxury tax threshold. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

After getting swept by the Rays in a pivotal series that left the Red Sox 1 1/2 games back of the American League East lead, it’s easy to wonder where things went wrong.

The most obvious place to start is the decision not to add any significant contracts beyond Kyle Schwarber’s prorated $7 million salary before Friday’s trade deadline. Boston’s payroll should end the year around $205 million for luxury tax purposes, slightly under the $210 million threshold.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said he didn’t want to exceed that threshold this year.

“We were mindful of it, I think we have to be, because there are implications to crossing that line that go beyond just money and some of those implications actually hurt our competitiveness and could hurt our talent base over time,” he said. “We were mindful of it but it was never a hard line. We did explore a lot of possibilities this week that would have taken us over. We just looked at it as something that we need to factor in.

“Was it worth the cost? Ultimately there were some things we explored that we certainly would have done that for. We just didn’t feel like it was worth the cost in talent let alone the additional effects of going over the line.”

The only penalty for going over this year would have been a 20% tax on any salary that goes over. It isn’t until a team goes $40 million beyond the threshold that they drop 10 spots on its draft pick the following year.

Looking back at some of the trades executed last week, it’s fair to wonder why the Sox couldn’t acquire some additional talent that was moved without much of a prospect cost as long as the receiving team inherited the salary.

A few notable examples are Kris Bryant, who went to the Giants for bottom-tier prospects; Eddie Rosario, who went to the Braves for little return; Andrew Heaney, who went to the Yankees for bottom-tier prospects; and Danny Duffy, who went to the Dodgers for a player to be named later.

It’s also fair to argue the Red Sox could’ve matched or exceeded the Yankees offer of a pair of mid-tier prospects for Anthony Rizzo, who is off to a scorching-hot start in the Bronx, going 5 for 9 with two homers and three walks over the weekend.

Though a lot of the other notable deals required top-tier prospects that the Red Sox don’t have, the fact they chose to stay under the threshold and wouldn’t give up mid- or bottom-tier guys to fill holes and give Manager Alex Cora some additional chess pieces will be a decision worth examining down the road.

WAITING ON INJURIES: The Red Sox just need to survive for the next 10 days or so until Chris Sale is likely to return from his minor league rehab assignment and Schwarber should be ready to begin playing first base after rehabbing his hamstring injury.

Sale is likely to start again for Triple-A Worcester later this week. Schwarber should join Worcester to begin his rehab assignment as soon as the end of the week.

The Sox could use the left-handed bat. They went just 7 for 32 (.219) with a .606 OPS against right-handed pitchers over the weekend.

CASAS STAYS HOT: First base prospect Triston Casas homered for the second straight game while playing for Team USA in the Olympics on Monday.

On Saturday, Casas took a breaking ball low and inside and golfed it over the right-field fence to take a 2-1 lead over Korea in an eventual 4-2 win. And on Monday, Casas went opposite-field for another long ball to give the United States a 6-3 lead in the fifth inning, though Japan came back to win, 7-6. Team USA can still qualify for the gold medal game by winning its next two games.

ESPN broadcaster Eduardo Perez has been saying that the 21-year-old should join the Red Sox big league team after the Olympics. Casas, the No. 35 overall prospect by Baseball America, is hitting .271 with a .777 OPS and six homers in 46 games for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs this year.

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