Boston Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino is not surprised by how much money the New York Yankees spent this offseason.

Though the Yankees have said they eventually want to get their annual payroll to under $189 million to avoid paying the luxury tax penalty, they have continued to hand out huge contracts.

New York gave Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka a $155 million deal and spent $470 million on contracts overall this winter.

"It's like 'Back To The Future,' is my sense," Lucchino said at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner Thursday, according to ESPN Boston. "I've seen this movie before.

"Anything that can be done that increases the intensity of the rivalry, as this certainly does, I think is positive -- as long as it doesn't go so far as to give them the advantage."

Lucchino said the Red Sox's ownership group, which includes John W. Henry and Tom Werner, are as committed to winning as the Yankees, but not when it means "crazy expenditures that might be commonplace in New York."

The Yankees started last season with a league-high $229 million payroll while the Red Sox were fourth at $159 million, according to the Associated Press. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series.

The Yankees went on a similar spending spree before the 2009 season -- signing pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and first baseman Mark Teixeira -- and won the World Series. Lucchino said the circumstances are not necessarily the same this time.

"Different players," he said. "I understand that. You can't just go into the grocery store and buy exactly what you need to win. A lot of other things go into it as well. Luck, injuries, and all of that. Suffice to say, we won't have any problem rekindling the rivalry with the Yankees.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are following a similar formula as they opened last season with a $216 million payroll -- trailing only the Yankees. Lucchino was asked if he ever asks Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten what he is doing.

"Pretty much no," Lucchino said. "I've asked him that before. These guys want to win and they want to win now. Money is not an issue. I suppose potentates in other leagues around the world want to do that, too, but it's a different business plan than we have. They don't want to win any more than we do. They're just not as concerned about reasonable spending as we are."

Before 2011, the Red Sox gave huge contracts to outfielder Carl Crawford (seven years, $142 million) and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (seven years, $154 million). However, they traded away Crawford, Gonzalez and expensive starting pitcher Josh Beckett to the Dodgers in 2012.

The Red Sox are spending less these days and have rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts and young center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the starting lineup.