With New Hire Could Ownership Questions Be Blooming For Red Sox

The Red Sox announced Chaim Bloom as their new president of baseball operations on October 28th. While many say this is just Dave Dombrowski’s replacement, there is something Bloom is known very well for. Building a successful team for a low price, he was the Senior VP of baseball ops in Tampa Bay which as we all know has one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. Bloom now joins the team with the highest payroll in baseball which should make him feel like a kid in a toy store. In all actuality this could be the start of an interesting time in baseball.

On the field there are a lot of questions, including JD Martinez potentially opting out of his contract and of course there is the big question with Mookie Betts’ potential trip to free agency next year. With big decisions like Mookie and JD, Chaim will most likely have to get the Red Sox ownership in on any big move but speaking of ownership, something is starting to stick out to me and it should to Red Sox fans as well. Payroll is over $200 million already for the 2020 season and should be north of that amount in 2021. With Bloom coming in to pick up what Dave Dombrowski left behind, his services in wheeling and dealing could come into play.

Now Red Sox fans shouldn’t expect to see a payroll like the Rays or Athletics but don’t be surprised to see more money ball type of signings. The Sox have $79 million each year through 2022 dedicated to Chris Sale, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. The bigger idea that could come into play is will ownership start to gear towards selling the team?

The current ownership group led by John Henry bought the team in 2002 when Fenway Park almost moved. Obviously the group of Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino saved the ballpark and made it a usable ballpark for at least the next 20-25 years with the addition of the green monster seats, suites and more. This group is the longest tenured owners since Tom Yawkey from 1933-76. Is this going to happen tomorrow, obviously not but this could happen within the next five years.

If Chaim Bloom can shave $75-100 million off the payroll this team can attract buyers. John Henry and his ownership own a significant part of NESN, is currently a principal owner of Liverpool Soccer, a Racing group, owns the Herald and more. Although the Red Sox run TV network may waiver in popularity among fans, this is a cash cow. Given how we watch games and programming on our phones, potential owners could really cash in off the success of NESN. In 2002 the group bought the Red Sox for $700 million and turned that investment into a team that is worth $3.2 billion, so it’s safe to say it was a good investment. With everything John Henry owns and runs, could he be taking on too much?

Again, this isn’t something I’m hoping for in the next year, but think of it as softening the blow, it looks like the Sox unless something drastic happens could be looking at some sort of a rebuild coming up soon, does ownership want to gamble Red Sox nations fan hood?

Something for ownership to take into account is the decline in popularity of America’s pastime. With attendance across MLB declining, eventually Red Sox fans will be tired of getting $150 taken by tickets, hot dogs, beer and more. When this happens it will be too late. I’m not a businessman by any stretch of the imagination but one thing that makes sense is buy low sell high. So with that being said, it only makes sense that the hire of Chaim Bloom brings the idea of selling the team into play.

-John Luck (@jluck_89)

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