In apparent contradiction to his own commissioner, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry said Monday that, while there is not a perfect correlation between a bigger payroll and winning, "spending more money helps."
His Red Sox had the highest payroll in the sport in 2018 and won their fourth World Series title since Henry became principal owner of the franchise in 2002. During a media session on Sunday in West Palm Beach, commissioner Rob Manfred, addressing the cold free-agent winter that has Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still unsigned, said, "I reject the notion that payroll is a good measure for how much a team is trying or how successful that team is going to be."
Asked about that comment and whether there is a correlation between spending and winning, Henry replied, "I think the Baltimore payroll was double what the Tampa payroll was last year. Close to double. There is a correlation, I'm sure there is a correlation, but it's not as perfect. It's very difficult to predict things in baseball, to predict player performance. Spending more money helps."
Many believe the luxury tax is working as a de facto salary cap, driving down spending, especially in free agency. Henry didn't completely agree with that assertion, however.