Ben Cherington has always been Boston’s presumed choice to replace Theo Epstein and now Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Red Sox have informed him that the general manager job is his.
Cherington was with the Red Sox before Epstein, joining the organization in 2002 and rising up the front office ranks to become vice president of player personnel. And when Epstein briefly took a break from the job in 2005 the Red Sox turned to Cherington and Jed Hoyer (who’s now the Padres general manager) to fill in.
Obviously losing Epstein hurts, but the transition to Cherington could be a relatively smooth one assuming the rest of the front office stays largely intact.
He probably won’t be hanging out at any more SABR conventions now that he’s a GM, though.
It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”
Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.
Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.
The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.