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Volume 26 No. 175
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Red Sox' Henry Says Media Spinning Narrative About Team's Offseason

Mookie Betts was the subject of many trade rumors this offseason amid concerns over payroll
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Mookie Betts was the subject of many trade rumors this offseason amid concerns over payroll
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Mookie Betts was the subject of many trade rumors this offseason amid concerns over payroll
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Red Sox Owner John Henry belives that the "media is misrepresenting the team's offseason mission" and that "all the noise about slashing payroll and resetting is media-driven," according to Dan Shaughnessy of the BOSTON GLOBE. Henry in a recent email exchange with Shaughnessy wrote, "We are focused on competitiveness over the next 5 years over and above resetting." Shaughnessy noted the term "resetting" was the "notion the Sox this winter are primarily concerned with cutting payroll" from $243M to $208M in order to avoid the competitive balance tax. The Red Sox had the "highest payroll in baseball" last year, but finished out of the playoffs. In September, Henry said, "We need to be under the CBT. That is something we've known for more than a year now." But Henry in a recent email wrote, "This focus on CBT resides with the media far more than it does within the Sox. I think every team probably wants to reset at least once every three years ... but just this week ... I reminded baseball ops that we are focused on competitiveness over the next 5 years over and above resetting to which they said, 'That's exactly how we've been approaching it.'" Henry: "We try to act responsibly so as to be consistently competitive" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/11).

DOES NOT COMPUTE: In Boston, Jason Mastrodonato wrote Henry's messaging has "passed right through confusing on its way to nonsensical." There has been "mixed messaging on this issue since last spring, when the Sox signed Chris Sale to a long-term extension that starts paying him" $30M this year (BOSTON HERALD, 1/12). Also in Boston, Sean McAdam writes in "outlining their philosophy before the end of last year and by exercising immense restraint," it is "pretty obvious what the Red Sox are up to." So Henry's "outrage at the characterization of the Sox' fiscal restraint is puzzling." McAdam: "Why not own the philosophy and try to be up-front with the fan base?" (BOSTONSPORTSJOURNAL.com, 1/11). CBSSPORTS.com's Dayn Perry wrote the Red Sox' hiring of former Rays exec Chaim Bloom as Chief Baseball Officer "strongly suggested an uninspiring era of 'payroll efficiency' was in the offing" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/12). In Boston, Patrick Dunne noted Henry's email "comes within days" of the Red Sox agreeing to a one-year, $27M contract with RF Mookie Betts (NBCSPORTS.com, 1/11).