Will The Boston Red Sox Be Sold?

As October looms closer and closer, it's become very apparent that the Red Sox will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. The front office has officially waved the white flag, dealing Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and $12M in cash last month to the Dodgers for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan DeJesus, and two players to be named later, expected to be Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands. While General Manager Ben Cherington stated at a press conference that the trade was about changing the team and making them better for 2013 and beyond, one can't help but wonder if this was a baseball decision, or a business decision.

Earlier today, breaking news came from Charlie Gasparino of the FOX Business Network, who cited sources with direct knowledge of the matter that said ownership is debating whether or not they have the proper financial resources to run both the Red Sox and Liverpool FC.

"While no final decision has been made about a potential sale, and the talks appear to be in the early stages, executives at Fenway Sports are debating whether they have the financial resources to run both teams, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter." Charlie Gasparino - FOX Business Network

However, in an email to members of the media, including Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci, principal owner John Henry stated, "Tom [Werner] and I speak 7 days a week. A sale of any kind is so far from out thinking that it hasn't even come up apart from the technical planning issues involving death or disability. This report is completely without foundation. Regarding unnamed sources -- any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people -- Larry [Lucchino], Tom and me. The Sox and any of the other components of FSG are not for sale and will not be for the forseeable future."

Forbes Magazine cites the value of the Red Sox at around $1 billion, and sources who have spoken to Red Sox management have said that the eyed price tag for a sale of the team is about $1.3 billion. Add in the estimated value of NESN, and the price could reach up to $1.6 billion. That's a massive price tag for the team, but one that isn't unfounded. The Red Sox are one of the most historic teams in all of baseball and, with the Punto trade clearing out a quarter of a billion dollars, there is plenty of payroll flexibility for a prospective new owner to steer the team in whatever direction they wish to. Add in the incentive of owning a television network to air most games, thus avoiding massive TV contracts with networks such as CSN, FOX, etc., the price would be very much worth it.

If the Red Sox are in fact for sale, this is something that I personally have been half expecting ever since the mega trade in August. It's not every day that a team just decides to deal three top players, despite how horribly Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford had been performing. When deals like that occur, it's usually due to a fire sale or something much bigger is about to happen. A sale of the Red Sox would mark the beginning of a brand new era in the team's history, one that may be necessary.

The team's ownership has to take a good amount of the blame for such a horrible clubhouse culture, one that reeks of ignorance, arrogance, feelings of entitlement, and lack of motivation. Last September, when the season is going down the drain, the players are whining and complaining about God knows what. They take their issues to ownership, and what most would expect to happen ("Shut your damn mouths and play frigging baseball!") doesn't. Instead, they take the players out on their private yacht for a party. It's the lack of accountability

Back to the Boston Red Sox Newsfeed