Henry: Red Sox have already turned the page

Henry: Red Sox have already turned the page
February 19, 2014, 5:00 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In the last three years alone, the Red Sox have finished refurbishing Fenway Park, opened a state-of-the-art spring training complex, and won their third World Series in the last decade.
     
So what's next on the plate for principal owner John Henry? Another ring, he hopes.
     
"This is an ever-changing challenge,'' said Henry of being an MLB owner. "Thirty teams are doing everything they can every year, on or off the field, to try to win. For us to win a fourth championship would be the cornerstones of the careers of everyone who's been involved with these three, all the way down to two or one.
     
"Already, there's a sense here that 2013 was 2013. There are a lot of pictures up, were just put up last week from what happened in 2013 and I think most of us were walking around, trying not to (look at them). We've already turned the page. But winning a fourth one is, in our minds, going to be as difficult as winning the first one.''
     
Even as Henry expressed hope that the team could come to agreement on new deals for both David Ortiz and Jon Lester -- both of whom are entering into the final seasons of their current contracts -- Henry reiterated his belief that giving out mega-deals to free agents from other teams isn't a sound business practice.
     
"We did that for a certain period of time,'' he said, presumably referring to ill-fated deals for Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and others. "I think we learned from it. I think there are a few other clubs that have learned from it. All you have to do is take a look at the results over, say, the last 10 years, of what that kind of approach has meant. It's a very, very risky thing to do.
     
"I don't see us necessarily changing . . . I don't see us going back to where we were with (big free agent deals). I think we were fortunate to be able to (pawn those deals off on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the mammoth trade from August of 2012).''
    
Without getting too specific, Henry added that the team would likely try to use the luxury tax threshold of $189 million as its payroll ceiling.
     
"We feel that at level,'' said Henry, "you're either at the top (of payrolls) or near the top payrolls.''