Less than a day after news broke that Craig Breslow would be the guy, the Red Sox made it official.
The Red Sox announced Wednesday afternoon that Craig Breslow has been hired as chief baseball officer, handing the keys to the former left-handed pitcher who helped lead the club to a World Series championship in 2013.
Breslow will succeed Chaim Bloom, who was fired in mid-September after nearly four years on the job.
A 12-year big league veteran, Breslow has emerged as a rising star in the front office world, making a quick impression since joining the Chicago Cubs front office in 2019. Breslow has played an integral role in turning around the Cubs’ pitching development program, rising from director of strategic initiatives to his most recent role as assistant general manager/senior vice president of pitching.
The Red Sox hope he’ll be able to get similar results, both in terms of building the major league club back towards contention and ending the organization’s recent track record of frequent front office turnover.
In a statement announcing the hire, Red Sox owner John Henry acknowledged the organization’s recent struggles and their belief in Breslow to turn things around.
“Our organization continues to have significantly high standards and expectations with a goal of being able to compete annually for that coveted privilege. After the 2018 World Series, we sought to build a future that would avoid the ups and downs normally associated with winning. That plainly hasn’t happened,” Henry said. “Despite the results, over the past few years, substantial efforts have been made and considerable organizational progress has occurred behind the scenes, but not at the major league level. We feel strongly that Craig is the right person at the right time to lead our baseball department.”
Henry went on to praise Breslow’s “remarkable” understanding of the game and that what set him apart was his highly strategic philosophy and his grasp of what it takes to excel in today’s game. Red Sox chairman Tom Werner also praised his baseball expertise, and Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said Breslow came with strong recommendations from respected members of the Red Sox family.
“Craig was a standout candidate,” Kennedy said. “The praise from fellow baseball executives was impressive, but what truly distinguished him were the resounding character references from former teammates, including David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, David Ross, Brock Holt, and Kevin Youkilis. Craig knows what it takes to be successful in Boston and he’s up for the challenge.”
A Yale graduate, Breslow’s professional baseball journey began in 2002 when he was drafted in the 26th round of the MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Breslow broke into the majors in 2005 with the San Diego Padres and wound up posting a 3.45 ERA while appearing in 576 games for seven teams, including five seasons with the Red Sox in 2006 and between 2012-15.
His best season came with the Red Sox in 2013, when he posted a 1.81 ERA in 61 appearances while serving as one of the club’s top relievers throughout the playoffs.
“I couldn’t be more excited to return to the Boston Red Sox, an organization that means so much to my family and to me,” Breslow said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to lead baseball operations and to work alongside so many talented people. I’d like to thank John Henry, Tom Werner, Mike Gordon, and Sam Kennedy for entrusting me with executing the vision we share for this organization. I know firsthand how special winning in Boston is, and I look forward to once again experiencing that passion and success with our fans.”
“I’d also like to thank Tom Ricketts, Crane Kenney, Jed Hoyer, Carter Hawkins, and the Chicago Cubs for giving me my first opportunity in a Major League front office,” Breslow added.
Breslow is the fourth former Red Sox player to lead the club’s baseball operations department and the first since Haywood Sullivan between 1978-83. In addition to his front office credentials, Breslow earned a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale and was named “Smartest Man in Baseball” by the Wall Street Journal in 2009.
Originally from Connecticut, Breslow lives in Newton and worked locally throughout his tenure with the Cubs. Now he has a chance to stay home and help lead his old club back to the promised land.