6:37PM: Former Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels declined an interview request from the Red Sox, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reports. Daniels “was initially excited” about the job possibility, according to a source, but ultimately decided against an interview “due to the desire to keep his family rooted in Texas.”
12:15PM: It’s now been roughly a month since the Red Sox fired chief baseball operations Chaim Bloom, creating a vacancy atop their baseball ops department. The club has expressed a willingness to take their time in making a decision, but it seems that there’s a building narrative that many potential candidates aren’t terribly excited by the job opening. Sean McAdam and Chris Cotillo, both of MassLive, reported on the search today with each of them relaying that the club has been getting the cold shoulder from many of their targets.
It’s not known which specific candidates are involved, but it’s reported than many of them have declined to be interviewed or have withdrawn their names from consideration for the post. Though running a prestigious large-market club like the Sox might be attractive in theory, there are a few factors listed for the lack of interest. One is the high amount of turnover in the Boston front office of late. Ben Cherington got the position in October of 2011 but was replaced as the club’s baseball decision maker by Dave Dombrowski in August of 2015, despite the fact that the club had won the World Series in 2013. Dombrowski was then dismissed in 2019, even though he also brought a title to Boston the year prior, getting replace by Bloom.
Beyond that, there are reportedly concerns around the established role of manager Álex Cora and some incumbent executives. To an outsider, it would appear there are fears of getting hired, not being given much agency and then getting quickly thrown under the bus if things aren’t going well.
One name the club is targeting is Michael Hill, reports McAdam, though it’s unclear if he has been interviewed or if he even wants the job. He does have plenty of front office experience, as he was a part of the Marlins’ front office from 2002 until 2020. He worked his way up to hold various titles, including assistant general manager, general manager and president of baseball operations. But his contract wasn’t renewed after 2020 and he has since been working for Major League Baseball as senior vice president of on-field operations. His name has frequently popped up in front office searches in recent years, with the Astros being interested in him as recently as January. But Hill withdrew his name from consideration for that job, which ended up going to Dana Brown.
One other name on the list is Josh Byrnes, who currently serves as senior vice president of baseball operations for the Dodgers. Cotillo reports that the Sox have had internal discussions about interviewing Byrnes, but it’s unclear if that’s led to any direct contact. Byrnes has a baseball résumé that dates back to being hired by Cleveland back in 1994, later bouncing to various other clubs, including a stint in Boston as assistant general manager starting in 2003. That led to stints as the general manager of the Diamondbacks and Padres, before he joined the Dodgers in 2014. Like Hill, his name has also been a popular one in recent front office searches, most recently being connected to the Tigers just over a year ago.
In what is perhaps a more notable development, the club has already interviewed current assistant general manager Eddie Romero, per Cotillo. He has been with the Sox since 2006 and Cotillo reports that he has a strong relationship with Cora.
There’s still plenty of unknowns around the search and the narrative could always change, but it’s interesting that the club seems to be hitting some obstacles to this point. Though they have Hill and Byrnes on their list, there’s been no reporting to suggest the interest is mutual or that any momentum has been gained with either. As Cotillo relays, Romero might have an edge not just based on his existing relationship with the club but also due to the other candidates taking their respective hats out of the ring, though it’s entirely possible that other candidates will emerge in the weeks to come.
Whoever does get the job will have challenges moving forward. The club is generally considered to have a strong farm system but the American League East is arguably the strongest division in the league. The Orioles, Rays and Blue Jays all made the postseason this year and each club is well positioned to continue being competitive. The Yankees had a bit of a down year but haven’t finished below .500 since 1992 and will surely be looking for ways to come back stronger next year.
The Sox have generally been an aggressive spending team but not as much lately. Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, their payroll was in the top five in the league for much of the century but has fallen out of that tier since the pandemic. They also have some hefty contracts on the books already, especially those of Rafael Devers, Trevor Story and Masataka Yoshida. Thanks to that group and Garrett Whitlock, the club already has close to $80MM committed to just four players as far out as 2026.