Theo Epstein is back and that could mean big things for the Boston Red Sox in due time.
Fenway Sports Group brought Epstein in as a senior advisor and part-owner. Before Red Sox fans get too excited, this is a part-time role and he won't be involved in the day-to-day operations of the team. He'll also be responsible for helping the ownership group with their other holdings, including Liverpool F.C., the Pittsburgh Penguins, RFK Racing and Boston Common Golf. His job will be to advise on sporting operations, strategic growth and investment initiatives.
So this move isn't going to solve all the Red Sox problems but it will help, if Chris Cotillo's reporting for MassLive.com is any indication.
According to Cotillo's sources, Epstein's return is indicative of FSG "privately acknowledging that they have, at times, not given the club the attention it has deserved in recent years."
Theo Epstein's return signals a change in the mindset of Red Sox ownership
Here are some of the biggest highlights from the report:
- FSG recognizes that the Red Sox "need to be more of a priority."
- "Winning fans back is paramount" to the new approach.
- Epstein is seen as someone with a greater ability to "push [John] Henry out of his comfort zone on potential moves in a way that others have not been able to."
Epstein's role is expected to be "process-oriented" so his impact will be more about helping the Red Sox's decision-makers take the right approach than dictating the moves himself. It's still a massive step in the right direction.
That doesn't mean Boston will see an immediate shift in their free agency push. Cotillo poured cold water on that with a source who indicated "it's likely too late" for major moves this offseason.
The free agency frenzy could come in 2025 with Epstein helping the Red Sox to better balance their desire to build from within with the reality of spending that's necessary to actually compete.