News of the potential sale of the Red Sox franchise was broken by FBN’s Charlie Gasparino, a respected business journalist.
The sale price could be in the $1 billion range, which could include the Red Sox 80 percent interest in the NESN television sports network.
Red Sox executives under principle owner John Henry may be running into a cash crunch by trying to simultaneously operate a Liverpool, England, soccer team as well as the Red Sox. Cash flow issues may have been the reason that the Red Sox traded away high-salaried players Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett in a blockbuster deal last month. According to Gasparino’s source, “In addition to saving on payroll, the fire sale of Red Sox talent earlier this season also makes the franchise a ‘more attractive asset,’ allowing a new owner to ‘recast the team the way he wants.’”
John Henry’s investment company has also been losing money, which may be an additional reason for putting the Red Sox up for sale.
The team’s on-field performance has been a disaster since last September’s collapse in part because of injuries; the Sox are currently in last place in the American League East. But their substandard performance is unlikely to discourage any interest from potential buyers of the storied franchise.
The Red Sox have publicly denied the rumor, however. President/CEO Larry Lucchino referred to the possibility of a sale as “nonsense” on WEEI radio this morning.
A similar rumor was floated in May about the Steinbrenner family selling the New York Yankees, but nothing ever came of it.
Watch this FBN report about the possible sale of the Boston Red Sox:
Do you think the John Henry group is more interested in soccer than MLB?