The Chaim Bloom period in Boston is formally over, and within the coming weeks the Red Sox will undertake what membership CEO Sam Kennedy promised could be a broad seek for a brand new baseball boss.
Who would be the subsequent individual to run the Red Sox baseball operation? What title will they maintain? Will the Red Sox rent one individual or two? Kennedy stated all choices are on the desk, aside from former Red Sox normal supervisor Theo Epstein, who’s presumably extra desirous about tackling new challenges than revisiting outdated ones at this stage in his profession.
We’ll little question be taught extra concerning the membership’s preferences because the search unfolds, however for now there are a handful of individuals round baseball who seem to be apparent candidates at first blush. Whether any of those people emerge as precise candidates stays to be seen, however listed below are just a few names to observe and why they may be a very good match for the Red Sox going ahead.
Sam Fuld, Phillies GM
As of this writing Fuld is the betting favourite to grow to be Boston’s subsequent baseball boss, and there are many good the reason why. Fuld is a former participant who shortly rose via the entrance workplace ranks following his retirement from baseball in 2017, and in solely three years he was employed as vp and normal supervisor of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Since then the 41-year-old has labored beneath ex-Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to construct Philadelphia again right into a contender. Last season the Phillies gained the National League pennant and got here inside two wins of a World Series championship, and this yr Philadelphia is nicely positioned to exceed final yr’s win complete and host its opening-round Wild Card collection.
He can also be a New Hampshire native who grew up a Red Sox fan, so there’s a native connection as nicely.
Fuld checks nearly each field and looks like a pure match for the position, however one issue working towards the chance is his proximity to Dombrowski, who clearly didn’t go away on good phrases with Red Sox possession and hasn’t been shy about saying so. If supplied the job Fuld would presumably get an in depth (and probably unflattering) scouting report on his new bosses, which may probably dissuade him from taking the place.
James Click, former Astros GM
Click is coming off one of many strangest runs as a high baseball govt in current reminiscence. After taking on for former GM Jeff Luhnow following the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, Click led the Astros via the following tumult to 3 straight American League Championship Series, two pennants and final season’s World Series championship.
For that, he was successfully kicked to the curb.
Click left the Astros following the World Series championship after he was supplied an “insulting” one-year contract extension by proprietor Jim Crane, who reportedly meddled in Houston’s baseball operations all through his tenure. Click has since joined the Toronto Blue Jays as vp of baseball technique, however given his observe report he stands as an apparent alternative for any high baseball jobs that open round MLB this winter.
The major draw back to Click is he may be too just like Bloom for the Red Sox liking. The two are each comparatively younger Yale graduates who spent intensive time working within the Rays group and who’ve comparable philosophies, so if Boston is in search of a transparent change of path Click won’t be the very best match.
Mike Hazen, Diamondbacks GM
Since leaving the Red Sox entrance workplace to grow to be the Arizona Diamondbacks’ normal supervisor in 2016, Hazen has confirmed himself a superb steward of the franchise. He’s on tempo to guide the Diamondbacks to their fourth profitable season in seven years, and through that stretch he’s additionally executed a profitable rebuild, assembling a terrific core that would have Arizona in rivalry for years to return.
Could a reunion quickly be so as?
Hazen makes a number of sense for the Red Sox for quite a lot of causes. He’s a recognized commodity to possession and has relationships all through the group courting again to his decade-plus tenure in Boston. Unlike Bloom, who had by no means been the highest decision-maker for a company previous to his rent in 2019, Hazen has established a confirmed observe report as somebody who can each win on the large league degree and construct in the direction of the longer term.
The solely query with Hazen is whether or not he’d be desirous about forsaking what he’s constructing in Arizona.
Chris Antonetti, Guardians president of baseball operations
This could be an actual swing for the fences, but when the Red Sox can poach Antonetti from Cleveland it will be a large steal.
Antonetti is likely one of the most skilled and achieved executives within the sport, having served in Cleveland’s entrance workplace for twenty-four years, together with the final eight as president of baseball operations. During that point he’s led Cleveland to 4 division titles and a World Series look, and the membership has by no means completed worse than second within the AL Central with Antonetti operating the present.
Antonetti is the reigning MLB Executive of the Year after main the Guardians to a 92-win season in 2022 regardless of boasting the youngest roster in baseball, and although this season’s been a disappointment, he nonetheless has Cleveland nicely stocked for future success.
Why would he go away? Antonetti would get a a lot bigger funds to work with in Boston than he’s had in Cleveland, and the franchise can also be nearing a serious shift with the anticipated retirement of future Hall of Fame supervisor Terry Francona arising this offseason. Still, 24 years in a single group is a very long time, so it’s unclear if Antonetti could be desirous about beginning over someplace new in any case this time.
Brandon Gomes, Dodgers GM
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one in all Major League Baseball’s mannequin franchises, so hiring one of many group’s high decision-makers looks like a no brainer. Gomes, the Dodgers’ No. 2 to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, understandably has quite a bit going for him.
Gomes has adopted the same journey as Fuld, efficiently making the bounce to the entrance workplace following a five-year large league profession. He shortly rose via the Dodgers ranks, first serving as a pitching coordinator earlier than finally taking on as director of participant improvement. He performed a outstanding position in increase Los Angeles’ spectacular farm system and was promoted to normal supervisor final yr.
Like Fuld, Gomes additionally has native ties as a Fall River native, having starred at Durfee High School earlier than enjoying school ball at Tulane. The 39-year-old remains to be comparatively inexperienced and has by no means been the highest determination maker in a company, however his skill to mix on-field expertise with analytics provides him a singular and useful perspective.
Carter Hawkins, Cubs GM
A former school catcher at Vanderbilt, Hawkins spent a decade working in Cleveland’s entrance workplace earlier than becoming a member of former Red Sox govt Jed Hoyer’s employees in Chicago as normal supervisor in 2021.
Since then Hawkins has helped execute a fast-paced rebuild, with the Cubs stripping the roster of their 2016 World Series championship holdovers earlier than shortly leaping again into postseason rivalry after solely two down years.
Hawkins has a number of the identical upside as Fuld and Gomes whereas additionally having extra expertise working in a entrance workplace, however he’s additionally fairly younger at 39 and has by no means been the highest decision-maker for a company.
One of Red Sox assistant GMs
Though Bloom is gone and normal supervisor Brian O’Halloran is being supplied a distinct position within the group, the Red Sox nonetheless have a extremely regarded trio of executives on board to maintain the ship afloat, and it’s doable one might be elevated to the highest job.
Eddie Romero, Raquel Ferreira and Michael Groopman function Boston’s assistant normal managers. Romero and Ferreira have each been with the Red Sox for near 20 years and have served beneath all 4 regimes of the John Henry period. Groopman arrived final yr after a profitable run in Milwaukee and is taken into account a rising star within the business.
Romero particularly is regarded across the sport as a robust candidate to run a baseball operation. He’s loved a extremely profitable run overseeing Boston’s worldwide scouting and participant improvement, and he performed a key position in signing Rafael Devers and Brayan Bello, amongst others.
Alex Cora, Red Sox supervisor
This appears quite a bit much less seemingly now after Cora successfully quashed the notion previous to Friday’s sport, however it’s nonetheless an attention-grabbing risk price contemplating.
Even if he says proper now it’s too quickly, Cora hasn’t been shy about his curiosity in presumably shifting to a entrance workplace position sometime sooner or later. You don’t must look arduous for current precedent for this sort of transfer both. The Boston Celtics simply executed the same transfer selling former coach Brad Stevens to workforce president in 2021.
It’s clear Cora is held in excessive regard throughout the Red Sox group, and if he does return as anticipated then he would grow to be the uncommon supervisor to serve beneath three completely different baseball bosses. Rather than attempt to make an organized marriage work with one other govt, the Red Sox may simply hand the keys to Cora, have him decide his substitute as supervisor and transfer ahead in lockstep heading into 2024.