Theo Epstein has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $15 million contract with the Cubs, which means the Red Sox are now in search of a new general manager.
However, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com that search won’t take long, as vice president of player personnel Ben Cherington “is widely expected” to replace Epstein as GM.
Cherington is from New Hampshire and has been with the Red Sox since 2002, previously sharing GM duties with Jed Hoyer when Epstein took a three-month break from the role in 2005.
McAdam reports that Cherington “has been in on a number of high-level meetings with team ownership since the Red Sox’s season crashed and burned on the final day of the season.”
I’m sure time will show that Cherington and Epstein are different in many ways, but the overall approach to team-building and player analysis probably won’t change a ton. After all, just a couple years ago I sat next to Cherington at a SABR convention presentation about assessing player value for midseason trades. It’s safe to say he’s a stat-head, just like Epstein and most of the Red Sox’s front office.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.