Bright minds are next undervalued asset

Updated: October 2, 2011, 1:00 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Set aside the events of the past week and consider this question: As the Boston Red Sox rose to power over the past decade, winning two championships and filling Fenway Park consistently with folks eating hot dogs and drinking beer while they sing "Sweet Caroline," who have been the 10 most valuable assets, the leaders in per-dollar production?

David Ortiz, an elite run-producer and popular player, would have to be on that list someplace, and so would Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Curt Schilling made $52.5 million in his four seasons with the Red Sox and helped end an 86-year drought by pitching on a surgically repaired ankle, so he'd probably rank in the top 10, as would Josh Beckett, who was pivotal to the 2007 championship.

But the leader in per-dollar production for John Henry over the past decade, the person responsible for generating the most money relative to his salary, would be general manager Theo Epstein, who might've made less in his decade of service than Carl Crawford did in 2011 and has helped to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.

"Theo turned around their baseball operations, and it changed everything for that franchise," a rival GM said.