BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox made a phenomenal first step in rebuilding their franchise by trading Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, the question remains, what was the primary motive behind the blockbuster deal?
The organization was able to save more than a quarter of a billion dollars in future contracts and wash their hands from deals they claim originated when Theo Epstein ran baseball operations for the Red Sox.
Before you start buying exactly what the Sox brass is selling, here are some facts – the Sox knew that Theo had at least one foot out the door when they overpaid Carl Crawford and John Lackey was signed after season ticket holders angrily claimed the ownership was not invested in the product.
Fenway just celebrated its 100th anniversary and was added to the National Register of Historic Places, which gives the organization massive tax credits for any future improvements to the ballpark (something very lucrative to any prospective buyer).
Theo has stated publicly that for roughly a year and a half the organization knew that he was transitioning the baseball operations to Ben Cherington but his future growth was stunted by Larry Lucchino, something not unique to the now President of the Cubs.
Many people within the Sox organization have been irked by the lack of upward mobility inside the walls of Yawkey Way. With Larry Lucchino in charge there is widespread belief that no matter the thoughts of baseball operations he will have the final say on major moves. At least one high-level employee has complained that they were not informed of possible promotions with other clubs inside baseball, a luxury almost uniformly afforded to executives in similar roles across Major League Baseball.
Due to our country’s nearly $17 trillion of debt, almost every economist has stated that whether President Obama is re-elected or Mitt Romney takes the White House, the capital gains taxes will increase dramatically; making this offseason as good a time as any for John Henry and his partners to sell the franchise.
Given that the team was purchased for less than a third of the two plus billion dollar value of the Dodgers, it would make great financial sense for both the owners and the limited partners to sell now rather than wait for the additional taxes to be instituted.
Not even the harshest critic of the current ownership has been able to claim they are poor businessmen, and this trade made perfect economic sense.
Which is what this group has been interested in all along.
With this unprecedented trade the Sox were able to serve two masters – they were able to cleanse the team from awful contracts and remove a clubhouse poison in Josh Beckett.
But make no mistake; this deal was made to facilitate the sale of your Boston Red Sox.
Chris Curtis has produced 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The DA Show the last three years.
Follow him on Twitter @_ChrisCurtis.