Sox’ rule is two-fisted: Cherington, Hoyer likely to be co-GMs
By Tony Massarotti and Michael Silverman
Friday, December 9, 2005 - Updated: 03:36 AM EST
DALLAS — Amid a fruitless search for the successor to Theo Epstein, the Red Sox are soon expected to announce a restructuring of their baseball operations department in which former Epstein aides Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer will share responsibilities as general manager.
According to multiple sources, an announcement regarding Cherington and Hoyer will come within the next several days. Team officials could not be reached for comment, but it is believed that Cherington and Hoyer will serve as co-GMs throughout the 2006 season while the Sox continue to assess possible long-term solutions in the wake of Epstein’s departure.
As has been the case since Epstein left, there continues to be speculation that Epstein might consider returning to the Red Sox. Rumors of Epstein’s return persisted at this week’s winter meetings, but all indications are that the talk is unfounded at this point.
Since Epstein’s departure, the Sox essentially have been operating as a committee under the direction of special adviser Bill Lajoie, who joined Epstein in resigning after the season. The Sox convinced Lajoie, 71, to return in Epstein’s absence because they needed his leadership and experience in overseeing the baseball operation.
Before leaving the winter meetings yesterday, Lajoie acknowledged that he is currently working on a three-month contract that expires Jan. 31. He and club president Larry Lucchino have agreed to reassess the situation on a periodic basis at Lajoie’s request.
If and when the Sox hire a new general manager, Lajoie said, the new GM will have the option of keeping Lajoie on as an adviser. In any case, Lajoie said his current commitment as the team’s overseer of baseball operations would come only in three-month blocks.
With the impending announcement concerning Cherington and Hoyer, it could be that Lajoie will again slip into more of an advisory role, providing the younger Sox executives with direction and guidance. Upon completion of yesterday’s trade involving Edgar Renteria, for instance, Lajoie made sure that Hoyer and manager of major league administration Brian O’Halloran were directly involved in the process so as to provide each that experience.
Cherington, 31, has most recently served as the Sox’ director of player development and has been largely involved with the minor league side of the organization. Hoyer, by contrast, most recently served as an assistant general manager to Epstein and has had greater dealings with free agents and the major leaguers’ representatives.
In the short term, at least, the pairing of the two seems to give the Sox a union of complementary parts.
To this point, neither Lajoie nor special assistant Craig Shipley has expressed a desire to assume Epstein’s place on a full-time basis. Shipley, like Cherington, has a background in player development and scouting. He has said repeatedly that he is content in his current role and has indicated a desire to remain an assistant.
Lajoie, similarly, stressed that he has no interest in becoming the next full-time general manager of the Red Sox. He returned to the organization in part because he has enjoyed working with the younger members of the Sox’ baseball operations staff, serving as a mentor.
Last edited by thedude on Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.