Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane is co-chair of RedBall Acquisition Corp., a company in talks with current Red Sox ownership, Fenway Sports Group, about a potential merger that would see RedBall take over a 25% ownership stake in the Boston franchise. Those talks are in their early stages and a deal isn’t an inevitability, but there’d be an obvious conflict of interest if the parties do eventually come to an agreement. (Beane also has an approximate 1% ownership stake in the Athletics, notes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle).
If the potential RedBall-FSG merger were to go through, Beane would likely step down from his position with the A’s, report Jared Diamond, Joshua Robinson and Miriam Gotffried of the Wall Street Journal. Slusser hears the same, noting that the deal might be finalized by the end of the calendar year. Beane leaving the A’s wouldn’t be surprising under those circumstances, but he’s not planning to make the jump to the Red Sox front office. Rather, Beane would step away from MLB front office work altogether, per the reports, likely to pursue a position with a European soccer club. The 58-year-old has spoken about his affinity for soccer in the past, and he was part of a group that purchased English club Barnsley FC in 2017, as Eric Chesterton of MLB.com detailed at the time.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry has long had an affinity for Beane. Henry tried unsuccessfully to coax Beane out of Oakland in 2002 to take over the Red Sox baseball operations, shortly before the publication of Moneyball helped make the latter one of the most famous sports executives in history. The two men also share a passion for soccer, with Fenway Sports Group purchasing Premier League club Liverpool FC in 2010.
It’s worth reiterating that nothing is yet official between RedBall and FSG. Beane was part of the A’s season-ending media call with general manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin last week and gave no indication he was contemplating an imminent exit, the Wall Street Journal notes. Beane has declined comment regarding his future, but one source told Slusser he might “like a new adventure.” The A’s front office was especially frustrated with ownership’s decision to institute widespread layoffs and furloughs over the summer, Slusser adds, although it’s unclear if that has any impact on Beane’s thought process.
If Beane were to step away, the A’s would unsurprisingly hand the reins to Forst, Slusser reports. The 44-year-old has been in the organization since 2000 and served as GM for the past five seasons. Forst signed a long-term extension two years ago and has longed seemed the baseball operations leader of the future in Oakland.
His future is not uncertain. He is leaving the A’s
which is good for every team but the a’s.
The leauge has had zero problems with Billy Beane teams in the playoffs.
How’s it good for every team except the A’s? Billy Beane’s A’s have ZERO championships as he’s hustled the dimwits into thinking he’s a genius.
Yeah, it’s only analytics that makes you win games when you always have studs somewhere on your roster (mainly pitchers). After all, having studs (usually pitchers) doesn’t make you win unless you use analytics. No team with great pitching or other stud players has ever won anything in MLB history.. Beane is a genius. Give me a freakin’ break. He’s about as overrated as they come.
Yeah, having Barry Zito in his prime, Mark Mulder in his prime, and Tim Hudson and Miguel Tejada and a few others clearly were winning only because of analytics. Seriously, give me a freakin’ break.
Billy Beane is a genius from having baseball success year after year with last place payroll.
I’d love to see you build a first place team with last place payroll.
Yeah also they’ve got to scout and develop those players. It’s not like OAK is throwing crazy money around. He has built a good organization built around low-budget moves, finding hidden potential and being somewhat successful.
When your team perennially has one of the lowest payrolls yet remain competitive without dishing out big contracts, yeah Beane is pretty smart. Just watch the Marlins and Jeter take this same approach in the years to come.
RyÅn W Krol
Year after year? No, they contend for 2-3 years and then fade away for 5 years then rinse, wash, and repeat. It’s because the A’s always have good pitching, especially in that ballpark. It’s when Beane finds offense that they rise up and contend.
Almost like acquiring such a good roster with such a low payroll is difficult!
Never said Beane didn’t know what he is doing. Just dismissing the idea the leauge is actually terrified about him or the A’s. The only time this centry they made the LCS was when they played an even bigger choker than them in the Twins. The leauge was not scared of Beane. You know he is overrated when the movie about took place in the year the Angels won the title.
Exactly. Tampa and Oakland have done what many other organizations, some with substantially more financial flexibility have not. Mostly remain competitive year in and year out. Such is not acceptable for big money clubs but even then you learn to crawl and then walk before you run. The O’s, Angels, etc. don’t even seem able to consistently crawl.
You’re the only one mentioning anyone being terrified of Beane. I think it’s fair to say that he is a talented executive with a good track record. Someone like him leaving baseball is good for every other team, as OP mentioned. What other GMs of the smallest of markets have had the sustained success that he has? Friedman comes to mind and look what he has done since getting a competitive payroll
Beane’s sustained success is more about his scouts and player development, which is based in traditional baseball concepts of on-the-field training.
If anything, when the team constantly rides the success of always developing or getting young talented players and developing them into stars to carry the team, the scouting and player development team deserves as much and really more praise than Beane and the Analytics Department.
When he puts together an entire roster without any stud talent found by scouts, and that roster is filled with all the stars carrying the team being guys that bounced around and were undervalued by other organizations, then tell me about how much of a genius he is. Finding undervalued players has been the brand they’ve been selling, but they’ve been depending on studs that were found by their scouts – not their Analytics Department.
Beane is like a person who claims he and his Analytics Department team build a championship basketball team when they bring in scrubs from the D-League to play on a team with LeBron, Giannis and CP3 (in his prime), but then say it was because they found the D-League players and Alfonso Ribeiro, Will Smith, Will Ferrell and Master P, who looked good with the stars,
Give me a freakin’ break.
What’s next? Theo Epstein is a genius because he can win in big markets like Boston and Chicago, but has never taken on the challenge of trying to win in Kansas City, Miami under Loria, or Pittsburgh?
Also of note, it seems that Carlos Pena played in the World Series more than Scott Hatteberg…and the A’s since Beane has been GM.
Who helped developed Hudson, Mulder and Zito? Who flipped Mulder for Dan Haren? Who drafted Nick Swisher?
Did he benefit from having Tejada and the Big 3 starting out? Absolutely. That’s undeniable. Let’s not pretend he rode the wave with them and hasn’t done squat ever since. He’s made some great moves on a shoestring budget. To say he’s overrated is ludicrous.
Drafting is run by your scouts providing information – not your analytics department because stats in high school and college are not good at all for evaluating players. That’s all eyeball test there.
Development is all baseball people. Beane’s help there is from his baseball playing experience. You can’t hit a baseball with a spreadsheet or catch or run down a ball with a laptop. Punching keys isn’t going to help you get a better mastery of your movement, or add miles to your velocity.
These are all scouting and player development, which are the baseball guys; not the analytics guys. And Beane’s involvement there is all about his baseball training.
And ever since that first Moneyball class, their scouts have kept adding talent and their player development has kept developing that talent. Those guys have been the vast majority of the team’s foundation every single year they’ve contended. They’ve ridden that talent, while the Analytics Department has ridden those coattails. Yeah, Alfonso Ribeiro looks good if he’s playing next to LeBron and Giannis. You and I would look good if we’re playing with Kershaw, deGrom, Sherzer, Realmuto, Mookie, Soto, Trout, Altuve, Lindor, Arenado, Freeman. When we win a championship, it won’t be because of us being on the roster or the guys that suggested adding us to the roster because we can get a high OBP against pitchers that can’t find the strikezone.
And FYI…those guys that you mentioned the A’s drafting or trading for were valued players/prospects. You supported my argument there.
I think they are twenty fifth in payroll.
He built good teams without money. Drafted. Developed and traded correctly. Sure some moves be made didn’t work out but every gm makes mistakes. It’s part of the risk
Ryan: Oakland has a 1921-1539 record since 1999, finishing first or second 15 times, and only finished 3rd or worse 7 times. And they have regularly been among the absolute bottom in payroll during that period. That is pretty good, and certainly not as you characterized the situation.
Playoffs? 19-28 during this stretch, which is pretty disappointing. Haven’t done the math, but I suspect that the null hypothesis of at least an average playoff team should be rejected.
The claim that they are only contenders for a couple of years followed by five years of lack of contention is not supported by the facts. They had one bad period a few years ago, but not the pattern throughout Beane’s era that you said.
I would agree to a point, but Beane and the A’s have been surpassed by the Rays as the little market team that competes every year.
Yeah, seems to me that Beane is fairly rated. I never thought of him as a genius since the concepts he’s associated with weren’t his, but, credit where credit’s due.
How many championships have the A’s had under Beane? Beane is a phenomenal guy but it might be time for change on both sides.
Exactly. It seems that with these analytics front office guys, they are “not fired”, but have situations where they leave “on their own”. It seems to be because they justify owners spending less and also it doesn’t hurt the Moneyball book sales that MLB takes a percentage of.
A’s fans can defend this guy, but if they win a championship after he’s long gone, they’ll point out all of his flaws.
It’s uncertain since the deal between Redball and FSG, which was reported earlier as “in the early innings”, is also uncertain.
Ooh, this will be a big one, won’t it? I mean after all, he’s won a total of 0 championships in the 30 years he’s been with the team and he claims to be in a small market when he’s in one of the largest media markets in the US. Wonder what a’s fans will think … BOTH OF THEM!!!!!!!!
Your mom said it’s time to get to bed, it’s late and you’re only 9 years old. Clearly, because no one would willingly say Oakland is a big market unless they were prepubescent.
Even during their 3-WS dynasty in the 1st half of the 1970s and a roster full of popular players such as Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando and on and on… still the A’s only had @10,000 average attendance. Worse, they didn’t fill the “Oakland Mausoleum” all its WS games. The 2nd half of the 1970s were horrible. Once in 1979, they had 250 fans in attendance for a game. “Billy Ball” saved Oakland Baseball.
An unusual exit to be sure.
Business is business.
Nothing on tommy Pham getting stabbed ?
On a lighter note, I remember being in a BP chat with Billy about 15 years ago. I was miffed at him for his lousy playing career. It ruined the value of his rookie cards and I pitched them before Moneyball. He got a chuckle out of that.
Billy Beane is involved with Dutch soccer team AZ since 2015 and took a minor part in their ownership early September, so it is nothing new but I wonder if he really wants to make a switch. If he would pursue interests with Liverpool, that team just won the English premiership and the European Champions League the year before. It would be like taking over the Yankees realm after they just won the World Series.
So, I don’t see it happen.
He will not leave the A’s ‘till they win the last game of the season or “Moneyball” is a bust
Moneyball is already a bust and was a farce.
Marlins make the playoffs for the first time and year and now their biggest fan is here to tear down other small markets, you go Bryce!! I assume your name is Bryce because you’re clearly a teenage dimwit who only follows his lowly marlins.
I never saw the movie but have seen clips. There is a scene where Brad Pitt talks about acquiring Jason Giambi’s little brother Jeremy,David Justice and Scott Hatteberg to replace Jason Giambi after Jason left following the 2001 season. There are a couple of problems. Jeremy was already with the team. Justice and Hatteberg played for them in 2002.. It is Hollywood but it is very inaccurate.
Funny I think Mark Shapiro said the exact same thing in an interview. Money ball movie was 3 seasons combined into 1
Read the book, don’t watch the movie. It’s more detailed and isn’t strictly about Billy Beane. The book is interesting on many levels.
Next movie will be “follow the moneyball”
Come to Yankees or Mets let’s see what he can do for a big market team
Yeah, because Sandy Alderson did so much for the Mets.
Yeah, that moron Alderson only got them to the World Series.
Brad Pitt no…
A’s Billy Beane is a tremendous talented executive but has never been given enough resources from Oakland’s top ownership to get to that level of winning consistency the A’s need. Beane leaving is a huge lost…
Interesting, During the same time, how many other small market teams have won in the postseason? So much for the lack of financial resources excuse.
I guess the A’s should just go all in on one year and let everybody with a pulse walk the year after like the Marlins have done.
Small market, or low payroll? Similar, but different things. You can have a small market team spend heavily one season. Small market doesn’t always equal low payroll, especially if a team was trying to win it. Payroll should really be the measure.
Four teams since 95 (Wild Card era) were ranked 13th or lower in payroll. 08 Phillies (14), 05 White Sox (13), 03 Marlins (25), 02 Angels (15). One team in the last 25 seasons that has won a WS finished in the bottom half of payroll. So it’s pretty obvious with recent history, you gotta spend money, at least in the top 50%, but more likely in top 20-33%, to win it. The Marlins were 7th in payroll when they first won it and the D’Backs were 8th. Usually people always talk about those teams and the 03 Marlins when referencing small market teams winning it. Really the only outlier is that 03 Marlins team.
So, like Billy Beane’s A’s, these small market teams can win during the regular season, can make the playoffs, maybe even advance a round or two, but only one team outside the top 50% has actually won it in the last 25 seasons.
Erik Neander‘s movie coming soon!!
Man I would’ve thought he owned more than 1% of the A’s
I thought I read 4% somewhere. That’d be worth about $40 million.
I googled “How much of the Oakland Athletics does Billy Beane own?” – couldn’t find any percentage given, but his net worth is listed at $6 million, which I find hard to believe is that “low…”
If he would have accepted the role at the Red Sox, his 2.5 % ownership offer as part of the deal would be worth $82 million as Red Sox now worth $3.3 billion plus now.
In the SF Chronicle piece, Slusser notes that Beane sold most of his stake years ago. Updated our post to make clear where the 1% figure is coming from.
I thought he owned 5%.
Never noticed how much he looks like Urban Meyer.
Cincinnati? … smh I know, probably not going to happen. A guy can dream, can’t he?
cripes I’m an idiot, the one time I don’t give the article a thorough read before posting
Chief Two Hands
Cripes, I say! Cripes!
He’s leaving 100% of his team for 1% of his company.
Billy Bean has a built in excuse for losing the playoffs. Bad Stadium, no fans. no money.
Didn’t you know? When you have Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Miguel Tejada, and a couple of more good players, your team is winning because of analytics that identify undervalued players when you don’t have any studs.
The guy is vastly overrated.
Dude why the hate for Beane? The guy is very good at his job and seems like a stand up guy.
He’s just happy the Marlins finally did something so he can come to the comments section to swing his millimeter peter around like the teenager he is.
I thought the point was to win the World Series. Yet somehow Billy Beane is some mythical hero. Overrated.
Beane has reached the Playoffs 11 times in his 20 years of being GM. Always handed Bottom 5 payrolls to work with. They ran into Jeter’s dynasty Yankees twice in the Playoffs and then the Manny-Nomar-Pedro Red Sox another time. Were the A’s ever Favored to win those Series? To the Marlins Hater fan, Kudos to the Marlins for winning the Title in 2003 but since that year the A’s have made it to the Playoffs several more times than your Marlins. How many GMs have the Marlins sifted through since then? Be glad you have Jeter around to bankroll your current team or else there would be another disgraceful Fire Sale off of your players next year.
Jeter isn’t bankrolling any team. The other owners in the Marlins’ group will have to do it.
But can he get on base?
I hope beane takes David forst with him lol,
Beane to LAA!
Marlins fan base seriously needs to stfu already.
When a guy puts teams together that make the playoffs 11 times over the past 20 years, and he’s charged with accomplishing that with a cookie jar full of pennies and nickels instead of crisp Benjamins, ya gotta tip your cap to the guy.
A’s should move to Charlotte. They’d get a brand new stadium and would easily draw 2..5 million fans per year. They should make that move before the Rays or Marlins beat them to the punch.
As a Yankees fan I can’t even begin to express how much I am rooting for Beane to become an owner of the Sox and put his stamp on the organization
I lost all respect for Billy Beane when he broke Jennifer Aniston’s heart.
Lotta Beane haters on this thread.
All of our futures are uncertain.
Billy Beane is a smart GM, he knows he’s limited in payroll, and that he couldn’t compete with other clubs in the same way that they operated, so he zagged while the others were digging. He put more emphasis on players who took walks /saw a lot of pitches, to get the other team’s SP have their pitch count get high early and get to their bullpen. He also knew that OAK could draft pitchers who were going to look better in Oakland (pitchers park) and once they looked like high end SP’s, he traded for prospects and usually got good ones. If I were a small market GM now, I would relish it. With everyone focused on analytics, I’d go a different route, one which was always successful. Good pitching, defense up the middle, C, SS, 2B, CF, speed on the bases, and a few guys who can take on the corners, platoons if needed.