Boston Red Sox owner John Henry addresses the possibility of selling the team

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry
Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have steadily been reducing their payroll in recent years under team owner John Henry and the Fenway Sports Group. As the club has progressively worsened all while ticket prices climb, Red Sox fans have become increasingly vocal in demanding change.

Boston last won the World Series in 2018. Since the team hoisted the World Series trophy, Boston’s baseball team has progressively gotten worse with a current pace in 2024 that will see the Red Sox out of the MLB playoffs for the fifth time in the last six years.

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During that six-year span, the Fenway Sports Group traded away fan-favorite Mookie Betts, allowed Xander Bogaerts to walk in free agency, didn’t pursue top free agents and gave Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves in a cash-saving move.

As a result, the Red Sox payroll has steadily declined from $233 million in 3017 to $206 million by 2022 and now $171 million this year. Boston now ranks 12th in MLB team payrolls this season, tens of millions of dollars behind teams like the Toronto Blue Jays ($227 million), Texas Rangers ($226 million) and the San Francisco Giants ($209 million).

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Even with the team getting worse and the club’s payroll dropping, Red Sox season ticket prices in 2024 rose again. In response, fans have helped from attendance at Fenway Park from an average of 36,106 in 2019 to just over 31,000 this season (12th in MLB). Now, fans are calling for a change at the top.

In an email interview with Sara Germano of the Financial Times titled “How Liverpool and Red Sox owner John Henry Won it All”, the Red Sox owner stated that he has zero interest in selling the team as he and his family are very committed to the city of Boston.

“My wife and I live and work in Boston. We are committed to the city, the region. So the Sox are not going to come up for sale. We generally don’t sell assets.”

John Henry on the possibility of selling the Boston Red Sox

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While Henry has no intention of selling the franchise, recent MLB trade rumors suggest the Red Sox will operate as sellers this summer. One of the moves the team is widely expected to make is a Kenley Jansen trade, moving the All-Star closer in order to get out of the remainder of his $16 million salary in 2024.

Unfortunately, operating as sellers might be necessary for an organization that entered the season ranked 14th in MLB farm system rankings. While Boston is prepared to shed more payroll this summer, they are still not well-positioned to use that money to acquire talent next winter.

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