Jordan Montgomery, Texas Rangers
Jordan Montgomery, Texas Rangers / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

MLB rumors: Ownership could prevent Red Sox from landing Jordan Montgomery

The Boston Red Sox are the popular favorite to land Jordan Montgomery, but it’s far from a done deal. In fact, one key factor could push Montgomery to a different team. As Jon Heyman of the New York Post eloquently points out, Boston’s ownership group has been asleep at the wheel for a couple years now.

Perhaps more accurately, Boston’s ownership group has been focused on other endeavors. John Henry’s collective recently purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Liverpool soccer club. Since those purchases, the Liverpool payroll has been on a steady incline, while the Red Sox’s expenses have decreased.

We have reached the point where one Red Sox front office staffer is relaying that complaint to the NY Post.

“One Red Sox person said he believes [Boston is on ownership’s back burner], that he’s even noticed that the fortunes of the Red Sox and Liverpool go in opposite directions. (Meantime, a club higher-up insisted the Red Sox remain the cornerstone franchise in the ever-expanding portfolio.)”

Moreover, Heyman reported that Mongtomery is looking for a seven-year contract, which ownership is hesitant to concede on and may lead to them looking at shorter-term options.

Whether the Red Sox remain the “cornerstone franchise” or not, it’s impossible to deny the correlation between ownership’s expanding portfolio and Boston’s relative inactivity in free agency. Boston placed fifth out of five teams in the AL East last season. Rather than cranking up the payroll in an attempt to improve the roster, new GM Craig Breslow made mid-tier additions to the pitching staff, traded Alex Verdugo, and extended Brayan Bello.

It hasn’t been a completely lost offseason for the Red Sox, but the team is once again positioned for failure in baseball’s most competitive division. Boston has the financial resources, at least traditionally, to compete with the best teams in baseball. Until Red Sox ownership proves otherwise, however, maybe it’s time to temper expectations with this Boston team.

Montgomery is a tremendous talent, but he won’t come cheap, and there’s no indication that the front office has full clearance to spend major long-term dollars on another quality arm.