“First-world problems” is a popular Internet meme, complete with a Twitter account bemoaning things only we privileged Westerners find onerous (Sample: “My iPod wouldn’t turn on, so I had to find my other one”).

The point is we’ve got it pretty good, despite our daily aggravations. What does this have to do with baseball? Relative to the rest of the league, the Red Sox face a classic first-world problem — perhaps we’ll call it a big-market problem — that’s nonetheless fascinating: How will they spend all of their money?

Fans of the Astros or Royals or Rays or really anyone other than the Yankees and Dodgers will read this and blanch, but it’s a question confronting the Red Sox front office every day. What’s the best way to exploit a financial advantage when rules changes have limited amateur spending, and history has proven that wild free agent sprees are bad business?

The question wasn’t of pressing relevance this winter, since the Red Sox locked in most of their core a year ago. But with nearly $100 million coming off the books next winter, even if the Red Sox extend ace Jon Lester and DH David Ortiz, they could still be looking at over $50 million to spend, according to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier.

That’s a franchise-altering sum of money, but there isn’t necessarily a franchise-altering player to spend it on, unless the Dodgers somehow let Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw reach free agency, or you’re a particularly fervent believer in Hanley Ramirez. And thus our conundrum.

But let’s back up a bit. There used to be more ways to spend creatively. Prior to 2012, the draft basically operated as a bonus free-for-all. Teams as rich as the Red Sox didn’t have to worry about signability, which is how they ended up with pitchers like Craig Hansen and Anthony Ranaudo in 2005 and 2010, respectively, even though both were considered top-10 talents.

Furthermore, MLB employed bonus recommendations for each pick, but if a team wanted to ignore them and spend more, about the worst it could receive in punishment was a withering glare from commissioner Bud Selig.

The Red Sox exploited this system routinely. They kept two high school stars selected in the fifth round from attending college, for example, paying Will Middlebrooks $925,000 in 2007 and Rhode Island’s Ryan Westmoreland $2 million in 2008.

Starting in 2012, however, MLB instituted strict bonus pools covering the first 10 rounds and bonuses of over $100,000 thereafter, with harsh penalties for overspending that can include the loss of two first-round picks. Spending $1 million on a fifth-rounder now meant spending less elsewhere.