The Red Sox search for a new head of baseball operations appears to be edging closer to the finish line.
According to multiple reports the Red Sox have narrowed their pool of targets and informed candidates whether or not they’ll move on to the second round of interviews. It is unknown how many candidates are still under consideration or if there will be additional rounds after the next one, but according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Chicago Cubs assistant general manager and former Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow is considered a frontrunner for the job.
If Breslow ends up landing the position, it will cap off a rapid ascent through the front office ranks since his retirement from baseball.
After 12 seasons pitching in the big leagues, including five with the Red Sox, Breslow joined the Cubs front office in 2019 and became deeply involved in the organization’s pitching development efforts. The 43-year-old Yale graduate was promoted to director of pitching and then to his current role as assistant GM/vice president of pitching, and under his leadership the Cubs have produced numerous homegrown arms who are already making an impact on the big league staff.
Breslow is also a Connecticut native who lives locally in Newton, and he still has close ties to the organization from his days as a player.
One candidate who reportedly won’t advance in the process is Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine. Initially believed to be a top candidate, Levine was reportedly informed on Monday he is no longer being considered for the role. Levine has served as the No. 2 man in the Twins front office under president of baseball operations Derek Falvey since November of 2016 and has helped lead the club to four playoff berths in seven seasons.
Others known to have interviewed for the job include Red Sox assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Mike Groopman, Red Sox VP of amateur scouting and player development Paul Toboni, former Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington, San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler and former Houston Astros GM James Click, who reportedly removed himself from consideration after interviewing.
The Red Sox have also faced a number of setbacks throughout their search process, with several targets reportedly turning down the chance to interview. That list reportedly includes Philadelphia Phillies GM Sam Fuld, Los Angeles Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes, former Miami Marlins executives Michael Hill and Kim Ng, former Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels, Arizona Diamondbacks executives Mike Hazen and Amiel Sawdaye, Twins president Falvey and Red Sox assistant GM Raquel Ferreira.
Many of those would-be candidates reportedly cited family considerations as their reason for declining to pursue the role, though the frequent turnover among top Red Sox executives and the inability to hire their own manager and top lieutenants has been cited as a reason for concern as well.