Here’s what Red Sox analysts think about the hiring of Craig Breslow

Red Sox

“This is a best-of-all-worlds move.”

Craig Breslow will be the new chief baseball officer for the Boston Red Sox. Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
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The Boston Red Sox have hired Craig Breslow to be their new chief baseball officer, and many have opinions about this decision.

Before he agreed to join the Red Sox’ front office, Breslow was a member of their bullpen and won two World Series rings with Boston while he was there (2007 and 2013, though he never actually pitched in 2007). Upon his retirement from playing baseball, Breslow joined the Chicago Cubs’ front office under former Red Sox vice president Theo Epstein and became their director of pitching, and eventually an assistant general manager.

To many fans and analysts alike, Breslow was an ideal fit in Boston. The Red Sox have struggled to produce homegrown pitching for years, and Breslow’s experience in turning the Cubs’ pitching department around as pitching director could certainly change that. Like his predecessor, Chaim Bloom, Breslow places an emphasis on analytics in nearly every move he makes, but he brings with him valuable experience as a former player that Bloom did not have.

“Breslow, 43, is well versed in using advanced data and technology to aid in amateur scouting, player development, roster-building, and game-planning,” The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham wrote. “But at the same time, he has a first-hand knowledge of clubhouse dynamics and the need to factor that into decision-making.”

Breslow not only understands how to scout and develop players, but he also understands what players want and how they feel. Many believe that Breslow’s unique ability to truly relate to and connect with players makes his pitching career more than just a section on his resume when it comes to his new job.

“As baseball bends further and further to analytics, executives with the ability to incorporate the human element are a requirement,” Abraham wrote.

It’s not just that Breslow pitched that mattered to the Red Sox, it was likely also where he pitched.

“Breslow also adds the experience of having played for the Red Sox, and that almost certainly will prove crucial,” Abraham wrote.

Breslow was certainly an attractive candidate to the Red Sox, but he isn’t a perfect one. Despite his intelligence and his baseball career, his lack of experience as a decision-maker is seen as a red flag to many analysts.

“The Red Sox have their man,” The Boston Globe’s Christopher L. Gasper wrote. “He just doesn’t have the experience to inspire total confidence in the choice.”

Many people see Breslow’s promotion from Cubs’ assistant general manager to the head of all baseball operations in Boston as a meteoric and sudden jump. It reminds some of when the Red Sox chose to hire Bloom, who was never the No. 1 guy during his time with the Rays. Breslow will take over Bloom’s chair with even less prior experience than the man who sat in it before him.

“Breslow must hit the ground on the dead sprint, because the Red Sox face a pivotal offseason, and he is easily the least-experienced baseball boss they’ve ever hired,” NBC Sports’ John Tomase wrote. “That includes [Theo] Epstein, who assumed the top job at age 28 in 2002, and Bloom, who had worked as an assistant in Tampa.”

As Bloom’s tenure proved, entrusting a former assistant executive to oversee a team’s entire baseball operations right away is certainly a difficult thing to ask of them.

“It’s the equivalent of asking Ceddanne Rafaela to be the MVP version of Mookie Betts instantly,” Gasper wrote.

Many agree that giving Breslow a more experienced advisor or general manager would prove fruitful, perhaps even letting him pick this person himself. Breslow could learn from this advisor while he settles into this brand new, unfamiliar role, a luxury that Bloom never received.

“It would make sense to pair Breslow with a veteran baseball exec who can serve as an aide de camp,” Gasper wrote.

“The Sox would be wise to work with Breslow in hiring a senior adviser with experience as a general manager to help guide him through the forest,” Abraham wrote. “Bloom might still be in the job had the Sox done that when he was hired.”

Regardless, Breslow’s hire signals a new era of the Boston Red Sox, and there’s plenty of optimism surrounding their new leader.

“This is a best-of-all-worlds move,” Abraham wrote.

Originally posted 2023-10-26 17:46:28.


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