Blog Entry

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:35 am
Cherington, Hoyer, Lucchino

By Evan Brunell

A report has revealed that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is expected to join the Cubs as GM by Oct. 13. While roadblocks still remain, such as what type of compensation the Red Sox will receive for letting Epstein out of his contract, it's time to take a look ahead at who could potentially step into Epstein's large shoes in Boston.

With Epstein's departure, you can certainly bet on team president Larry Lucchino gaining more power in baseball operations after losing it due to a much-publicized clash with Epstein in October 2005 that briefly saw the GM leave his position as Red Sox GM. In Epstein's absence back in 2005, Lucchino tabbed assistant GMs Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer as co-GMs in Epstein's stead, and Lucchino needs to make a similar move this time around. (Photo: Cherington, Hoyer, Lucchino from left to right in 2005.)

There are really only two clear candidates for the GM job internally -- that being Cherington and assistant to the GM Allard Baird, who formerly ran the ship in Kansas City. Boston needs to stay internal because the internal processes Epstein set up are the reason why the Red Sox have become a powerhouse and a player-development machine. That was the strength of Epstein, thanks to his hours of experience in player development and maximizing resources in San Diego. What Epstein pulled off top-to-bottom in the organization can not only not be ignored, but must be carried through. Who better than Cherington or Baird to see that process through?

Cherington actually precedes Epstein in Boston, hired by the Red Sox in 1999 by then-GM Dan Duquette after serving as an advance scout for the Indians. Throughout his time in Boston, Cherington has gained a reputation for being similar to Epstein in that he understands and embraces the value of statistical analysis, but also realizes the value of scouts -- one would certainly hope so given his background in that area.
Cherington spoke more about the blend of stats and scouting earlier this season to MLB Trade Rumors:
You can blend appropriately information from those two extremes. Depending on the player and the circumstances, you may lean more on one than the other. Obviously if you’re evaluating a 16-year-old in the Dominican, you don’t have a lot of hard performance history, so you’re going to rely more on subjective evaluation. 

As you get closer to the big leagues, the more performance history you have and the more you can incorporate that into the projection for the player. And you factor in other information like their health, contract situation, etc. 

That’s what Theo strove for from the very get-go. From the day he took the general manager’s job, he did not want the Red Sox to be a quantitative-driven baseball ops department, he didn’t want it to be a subjective, traditional scouting-driven baseball operations department, he wanted to do both.

However, Lucchino may prefer a GM who doesn't consider Epstein his "mentor," given the clashes Epstein and Lucchino had. When Epstein resigned back in 2005, Lucchino seemed eager to interview Jim Beattie for the opening, a former failed Expos and Orioles GM that hasn't gotten any whispers of returning to a GM job since. That doesn't make one terribly optimistic about Lucchino's ability to judge a viable GM moving forward, but Baird may provide the perfect blend for Lucchino.

Baird, 12 years Epstein's senior, was also a failed GM like Beattie in Kansas City, but many in the game don't hold it against him as it has since come to light that he was handcuffed by owner David Glass in many of his errors. Some of Baird's notable disasters in K.C. include trading away Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye for minimal return. But since being with the Sox, he's worn many hats and has been one of Epstein's most trusted confidantes.

Unlike Boston's managerial search, which could benefit from an outside voice, Boston needs to stay internal with the GM search. While Epstein may not have fared well lately in Boston, he set up the right model and has the right people in place to sustain a winning atmosphere in Boston.

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Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:24 am

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

ridiculous. the 'epstein team' failed miserably to assess sox talent for 2011.  the team knew in 2010 that the sox starting pitching was very weak and needed reinforcement, yet did almost nothing.  the team failed to see carl crawford for the weak fundamentals player he is.  it has developed no quality pitchers in its farm system.  it wasted huge money on lackey, jenks, and crawford.

time to get very mature, very fundamentals-oriented gm talent in the wheelhouse.  the henry group seems inexplicably unable to recognize real pros at these skills and arts.  look at the yankees, tigers, rays, rangers and phillies for models.

who writes these dumb articles?

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:06 am

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

Love some of these comments:

- need a clean break from Epstein and Francona.  Really?  A break from the only 2 guys who ever did anything for that franchise.  Why do the Sox continually run-off their most popular and best assets?  Ruth, Fisk, Clemens, Boggs, Francona, Epstein (and they put Manny on waivers before all the problems and wanted to get rid of Ortiz last year).

- Cashman can only be good with a big payroll.  Ok.  So he'd be perfect for the Red Sox.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:51 am

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

easy one.....Francona!  haha

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:00 am

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

As a fan of both the Red Sox and the Royals (I grew up outside KC, my wife grew up outside Boston) let me be the first to say that Allard Baird would be WORST possible hire. While it's easy to blame his mutliple failures at KC on David Glass, the worst owner in the modern age of baseball, the fact is that Baird is a puppet man, and Lucchino is a pretty bad owner in his own right. Dark days lie ahead if the Sox hire Baird as GM.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 7:59 am

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

Time to retool.  Find a strong manager and a GM that can rebuild the farm system and pick decent free agents.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:57 am

If Theo out, new Red Sox GM must come from inside

Boston Red Sox need to make a strong push for Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays if they lose Theo Epstein. Brian Cashman is only good because he had unlimited income to work with. See how good Cashman is on a team he has to budget payroll. Hell anyone would be a good New York Yankees GM.

And the way the Rays fans treat their team, Friedman and Joe Maddon could both be available. I can't see the Rays owners continuing paying those 2 if their fans are only around when their team is winning. The last playoff game after the first Rays loss signified what the Rays fans are all about. They aren't gonna support their team unless they win. Their fans are not diehard fans like the Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs fans. When the Rays start losing try and find a Rays fan, it's like Where's Waldo with Rays fans when their team is losing.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:21 am

If Theo out, new Red Sox GM must come from inside

Jed Hoyer is the right hire. Jed York took over the 49ers and promptly hired Jim Harbaugh and by all accounts from cbssports writers the 49ers are well on their way to playing in the Super Bowl. So...the Sox should take a chance on Hoyer...not just because of his name, but because of his age. He also looks like a very capable and intelligent GM. On second thought...the A's should hire Hoyer. I keep reading how the Red Sox really want to hire Billy Beane. He was almost their GM...but balked at the last second. Beane has always made it known that if the playing field was more level that he could compete against the Yankees and succeed. I don't doubt it.  

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:00 am

If Theo out, new Red Sox GM must come from inside

Cashman?  Please, anyone but him.  I don't know if it's meddling from above but he has just about the worst track record going of free agent money spent to on the field performance.  Pop quiz, which was the worse signing, Lackey or Burnett?  Without Robinson Cano the 2011 Yankees are lucky to play .500 ball, and given their payroll that's absurd.  Which means Cashman is either seriously incompetent or the Yankee ownership are idiots.  Probably both, if you ask me.

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:39 pm

If Theo out, new Red Sox GM must come from inside

Ummm, Colorado was an expansion team back in 1993. The Montreal Expos moved to Washington. They were owned by MLB for the last 2 years in Montreal, and sold to Lerner Enterprises AFTER the move to Washington. Not sure who the Monforts are.

"Major League Baseball had agreed at the time that the franchise was moved to Washington to sell the team to an owner or ownership syndicate. Selecting from a finalized group of three potential ownership syndicates, Major League Baseball announced in July 2006 that it had chosen the Lerner Enterprises group, led by billionaire real estate developer Theodore N. Lerner." ~Wicki

Since: Jul 26, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:31 pm

If Theo out, new Red Sox GM must come from inside

Baird? Beattie? Cherington? Are these the new Chipmunks? The hell with these clowns, steal Cashman from the Yanks. Lucchino, go for a long walk off a short pier. You suck.

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