Former Boston sports savior returns to Fenway, but even he can't save Red Sox

Theo Epstein is returning to the Boston Red Sox as a part owner. But can he save them from the mess they've created for themselves?

Major League Baseball Announces Rule Changes
Major League Baseball Announces Rule Changes / Michael M. Santiago/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox are bringing back a familiar face.

This morning, Jeff Passan of ESPN announced on Twitter that Epstein would be returning to the Red Sox, joining Fenway Sports Group in an advisory role.

Passan predicted that Epstein's voice will carry "enormous weight" as the Red Sox try to find ways to bounce back into contention in a powerful AL East division. But can he save the Red Sox from the mess they've created for themselves?

Why Theo Epstein can't save the Red Sox

The answer to this is ultimately pretty obvious.

While Epstein's voice will be influential, especially as part of the ownership group, he is ultimately not the one in charge. John Henry is the principal owner of the Red Sox, and he will be the one making the final decisions.

Craig Breslow took over as Boston's chief baseball officer following the dismissal of Chaim Bloom, and Red Sox fans hoped that Breslow would be able to help right the ship and guide the team back to contention.

While Red Sox fans certainly aren't pleased with him, he works under Henry, and he doesn't make the final decisions on things. It is ultimately up to Henry to decide if the Red Sox are going to spend money on big-name free agents.

Epstein served as the Red Sox general manager from 2003-11 and brought two World Series titles back to Boston, lifting the Curse of the Bambino. His work helped transform the Red Sox into a powerhouse.

But even Epstein likely won't be able to sway Henry and convince him to spend money. The only major move the Red Sox have made this offseason is the signing of Lucas Giolito. They have been quiet ever since the Giolito signing.

The Red Sox have remained stubborn despite having obvious holes in their lineup and starting rotation. The addition of a frontline starter could push them back into contention after back-to-back last-place finishes in the AL East.

Still, they have not budged, and that won't change unless Henry decides to spend money.

Top 25 MLB pitching seasons of all time. Top 25 MLB pitching seasons of all time. dark. Next