This winter weekend, the Red Sox say they will stay the course, so don’t expect major upgrades
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who followed the offseason, but team president Sam Kennedy admitted that the team’s payroll will likely decrease again this season.
Kennedy said the Sox “obviously haven’t matched” the marquee starters on the free-agent market and will remain disciplined with that approach.
“We’re going to let that build of our team kind of dictate what we do as we move forward,” Kennedy said.
How long will that take?
“I don’t think it would be appropriate to give a timeline for anything at this point,” he said. “I think we need to put in the work and let our actions speak louder than our words.”
Meanwhile, the Sox continue to command the highest ticket prices in the league. How do they justify this in light of the salary cuts?
Team president Tom Werner received this question, saying that he understood that fans were frustrated.
“We spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to attract new fans to the park. We have some very affordable tickets for students,” he said.
“We spend a lot of time talking about the Fenway experience. We think our record is probably the most important thing but there are other things that make going to Fenway a special place.
So get ready for another season of visiting team fans filling the stands in right field and behind third base.
Why pay for good players when a pile of bricks from 1912 sells itself? Fenway became another stop on the Freedom Trail for tourists at this point. Kids, this is where Mookie Betts used to play.
Werner also noted that the teams with the top three payrolls last season did not make the playoffs.
This is correct. The Mets, Yankees and Padres all failed.
But it’s also true that the Sox had the highest payroll in the game in 2018, the second-highest schedule in 2004 and 2007, and the third-highest schedule in 2013. How did that work?
Texas had the fourth-highest payroll last season. It’s fair to say that the Rangers don’t regret signing Nate Eovaldi, Corey Seager and their other stars after winning the World Series.
All this is not a prelude to selling the team. Werner described the Sox as a cornerstone of the Fenway Sports Group and said there were no plans to sell. They want to own the team for decades to come.
The Winter Weekend crowd booed Kennedy when he appeared on stage with new chief baseball officer Craig Breslow. But it wasn’t as fierce as last year.
“You are Chaim Bloom 2.0!” A leather-lunged audience member shouted at Breslow.
Werner stayed behind the scenes this time. Principal owner John Henry, who also owns The Globe, was not at the event due to a scheduling conflict.
Right now, there’s a season to play, and Breslow said the Sox haven’t finalized the roster.
But unless he can put together a creative trade as a starter, it was made clear Friday night that any additions between now and spring training will likely be lower-level free agents on short-term contracts. This may require eliminating some payroll first.
The Sox have a plan and they’re not budging. But Kennedy said that won’t always be the case. Once young players are deemed ready, salaries will rise again.
He added: “The philosophy has not changed.” “There will come a day when we agree again on a high-profile free agent deal.”
You must hold them to this promise.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. follow him @BetAbby.