Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will have a role with the team once again, as Sportico’s Brendan Coffey reports that Epstein is set to join Fenway Sports Group as a partial owner and senior advisor. Red Sox principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner hold those same respective titles with the FSG conglomerate, which owns the Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, Liverpool F.C., RFK Racing, NESN and several other sports holdings.
“It’s a great honor, something I’m really excited about,” Epstein tells Coffey. “It’s just exciting to be joining such a dynamic, groundbreaking company across multiple sports, doing so many innovative things at the cutting edge of everything going on in sports these days. For me, it’s perfect, I was looking for a pathway into ownership.”
While Epstein won’t be resuming his role as head of baseball operations, he does have a strong relationship with newly hired Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow. Epstein was the Cubs’ president of baseball operations when he hired Breslow as the team’s director of strategic initiatives. Breslow was eventually named the Cubs’ organization-wide director of pitching before being promoted to assistant general manager.
“I’m a full believer in him and what he and his team are going to mean for the Red Sox,” Epstein said of Breslow.
Per Coffey, Epstein will serve as a “sounding board and executive coach” to the Red Sox baseball operations staff when needed but doesn’t have a formal role within the baseball ops ranks in his return to the organization. According to FSG’s press release announcing the hiring, Epstein will advise Henry, Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and president Mike Gordon “on the company’s sporting operations across the portfolio and consult on strategic growth and investment initiatives.”
“There is no question that Theo left an indelible mark on our history that represented a transformative era,” Henry said in a statement within FSG’s press release. “Welcoming him as a member of our ownership group and in the role of Senior Advisor to the broader company brings with it a sense of completion. With his strategic mind, leadership, and unwavering passion for sports, Theo brings invaluable assets that will drive us forward across our diverse enterprises, especially in our sporting operations across hockey, EPL football, and baseball. We take great pride in welcoming him to the FSG family and eagerly anticipate the insights and contributions he will bring as we continue to build on the legacy of success he played a pivotal role in helping us shape.”
Epstein, 50, was the Red Sox’ general manager from 2003-11, during which time he oversaw the construction of a 2004 Red Sox club that broke the organization’s 86-year World Series drought and quickly added a second championship four years later, in 2007. The Cubs hired Epstein away and gave him the new title of president of baseball operations following the 2011 season. As was the case in Boston, he broke a historic championship drought when the 2016 Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908.
Epstein stepped away from the Cubs following the 2020 season, ceding his president of baseball operations title to longtime general manager Jed Hoyer. Months later, Epstein was named a consultant to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred — a role in which he’s credited with helping to implement MLB’s pitch clock and several other newer rule changes. He’s held until present day but will now step away from the commissioner’s office as he begins his next venture. Epstein will still serve the league’s Competition Committee and On-Field Committee “on an informal basis,’ per FSG’s press release, and he’ll be able to continue as the Operating Partner for Arctos Partners, a private sports equity firm that Epstein joined back in Feb. 2021.