FT. MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Red Sox principal owner John Henry reiterated his intentions Monday that he has no plans on selling the franchise.
Meeting with the media at JetBlue Park a day before Boston's pitchers and catchers report for spring training, Henry spoke on several matters, but was adamant about keeping the rebuilding Red Sox, despite reports to the contrary.
"You just don't get an opportunity to own something like the Boston Red Sox. As long as we can do it, the three of us are committed to being here," Henry told reporters, while acknowledging team president Larry Lucchino and chairman Tom Werner. "These thoughts that we're somehow selling, those are just not true."
For the second time in as many seasons, Boston will open camp with a new manager. John Farrell replaced Bobby Valentine after the Red Sox finished 69-93 last year, 26 games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East. Since then, general manager Ben Cherington has tweaked the roster - the offense figures to get an upgrade with outfielder Shane Victorino and first baseman Mike Napoli in the fold - and Henry appears to like what he sees ... on paper.
"I would say, especially in comparison to last year, I should be optimistic. You have to be optimistic we won't have the same kind of injuries we had last year. I was told that we expect to have something like 15 percent of our payroll on the DL during any given season. Last year it was 45 percent. We had seven outfielders on the DL at one time," he said. "You have to be optimistic that if nothing else, we'll be healthier than we were last year."
When asked if the Red Sox, who haven't made the playoffs since 2009, can win this season, Henry was blunt: "Yes."
"I definitely think," he continued, "that we will contend for a playoff spot."