I have to wonder if the Red Sox have won three World Series in spite of John Henry. This is a guy who treated Terry Francona -- the manager who brought him two World Series titles, and mentored the manager who brought him a third -- like dirt. Now, thanks to Bloomberg and the Boston Herald, I have learned that John Henry uses three “non-baseball financial consultants” when determining what a player is worth.
Dan Duquette hired, as a consultant, Mike Gimbel, a New York City water department employee who lived with alligators. We all remember how well that worked. Now John Henry has bean counters advising him on baseball matters.
This is crazy.
One shouldn't need financial analysts to tell them whether a baseball player is worth it or not. Especially Jon Lester.
Either you're willing to pay Lester five years at $125 million and risk decline in the final year(s) of the deal, or you're not. You don't need a hedge-fund guru to figure this out.
Predicting the stock market is hard. You know what's harder? Predicting a player’s health. The chances of Lester being the pitcher he is now five years from now are slim. But it's not a foregone conclusion that his arm is going to fall off.
I agree that giving a player over 30 a big-money deal is generally not a good idea. But, in the case of Jon Lester, it is. He's never been more locked in, or pitched better, than he is right now. Yes, he's 30, but he's in his prime. Furthermore, he wants to be here. He's even willing to be a rental and then come back to the Red Sox in free agency. And he handles the pressure of playing in Boston. This is huge.
None of this enters into Henry’s formulas. Well, it should. The human element should not be forgotten.
Does John Henry’s philosophy mean he wants the Sox to become Minnesota? An organization that develops quality young players but doesn’t pay to keep them? Or, for that matter, Oakland.? (Remember, he did want to hire Billy Beane.) To me, this indicates he is more interested in getting the most for his dollar than winning another championship.
I hope John Henry’s "non-baseball financial analysts" have an answer for him when the radio and television ratings for his Boston Athletics or Minnesota Red Sox fall through the floor,