Billy Beane set to leave the A’s for business venture with Red Sox owner

Oakland Athletics president Billy Beane
Oct 2, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics vice president of operations Billy Beane talks on the field before the 2019 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Beane has been a member of the Oakland Athletics front office at some level since 1990. He helped create the metrics around the MLB world that have become so prevalent over the years. Beane was also the featured topic in the blockbuster Hollywood hit “Moneyball” starring Brad Pitt back in 2011.

During this span, Beane has helped turn the small-market A’s into playoff contenders on a consistent basis since he took over as general manager in 1997. That span has seen Oakland earn 11 playoff appearances.

It now looks like Beane could be moving on to greener pastures.

Billy Beane set to leave the A’s for business venture with Red Sox owner

“Billy Beane, the baseball executive featured in “Moneyball,” could soon face a straight choice: stick with his long-time franchise the Oakland Athletics or with his investment in the Boston Red Sox, assuming RedBall Acquisition Corp. closes a deal to merge with Red Sox’s owner, according to a person familiar with the matter,” Brandon Kochkodin of Bloomberg reported.

Beane has long had a relationship with Red Sox owner John Henry. It dates back to Henry previously courting him to run the Boston front office before Beane ultimately decided to stay with the A’s.

As for this business venture, Beane heads RedBall. The special purpose acquisition company is currently in conversations to buy 25% of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club.

Beane, 58, would not be taking on a role in the Red Sox’ front office. Instead, his focus would be on European soccer overseas. Even then, a purchase of this ilk would be seen as an obvious conflict of interest.

Remember, in addition to his role as the head of the A’s front office, Beane owns a minority stake in the organization.

“It seems like a clear conflict,” Jason Dana, an associate professor of management and marketing at Yale School of Management, wrote in an email. “A person couldn’t, for example, own two different MLB teams. For the same reasons, this seems to open up the possibility of coordination between two teams, which is bad for the game.”

If this deal comes to pass, it means Beane would be leaving baseball in his past. That includes the tremendous amount of success he’s had with the A’s in Oakland.