ARLINGTON, Texas — The Red Sox took 5½ weeks to name a new head of baseball operations after Dave Dombrowski was fired in 2019.
When Chaim Bloom was sacked last week, team president Sam Kennedy suggested the Sox would be more deliberate in making their choice this time.
More deliberate than 5½ weeks?
By now, the Sox have surely heard from would-be candidates for the job, either directly or via intermediaries. You’d also like to think the team had a pretty good sense of who would be interested — and who wouldn’t be — before the decision was made to let Bloom go.
Running a team in Boston isn’t for everybody, especially when it’s the Red Sox and an ownership group that is searching for a new baseball ops leader for the fourth time since 2011.
Any executive who needs convincing to jump into the Fenway ring of fire probably isn’t somebody you should want.
The Sox went the bright young assistant GM route last time in Bloom, who sold the team on his plan to remake baseball operations with more analysts, more technology, and better internal processes to aid in decision making.
Those were necessary steps, ones that are crucial for player development, scouting, and other aspects of the game where the Sox had fallen behind their competition.
Now the Sox need a baseball ops leader who can position the organization to return to the World Series in the next few years. That person should be able to work closely with Alex Cora to identify the players needed to get the Sox back in contention.
This is crucial. Cora has subtly — or sometimes not so subtly — made his displeasure known after games this season by saying, “This is the roster we have” or words to that effect. Ownership has made it clear that Cora has their trust. So hire somebody who has his trust.
The new head of baseball operations also should have the institutional knowledge needed to decide which prospects are keepers and which can be traded.
They also should have the ability to communicate their vision to a fan base that has become increasingly frustrated with the team.
Assistant general manager Eddie Romero fills all those qualifications.
Romero has been with the Sox since 2006. He has a background in scouting and player development, and his roots with the Sox go back to the 1980s when his father, Ed, played for the Sox.
The team means a lot to him. It’s part of who he is as a person.
Romero learned under Theo Epstein, Ben Cherington, Dombrowski, and Bloom, and worked alongside or under people like Mike Hazen, Jed Hoyer, Amiel Sawdaye, and Zack Scott.
Romero also knows the players in the organization, from Rafael Devers down to the teenagers in the Dominican Academy.
The Sox owners felt Dombrowski didn’t have a long-term plan. With Bloom, it often seemed the only plan was long term. Romero can offer the urgency of Dombrowski with the perspective of Bloom.
The Sox have a lot of decisions to make, starting with their coaching staff. They also need to be active in the trade and free agent market to rebuild the rotation and that process starts right after the World Series when the GM Meetings are held in Arizona.
There’s work to be done. The right decision is obviously more important than a quick one. But Romero is a worthy candidate.
The Sox can succeed with Romero working closely with Cora. Former general manager Brian O’Halloran could serve as the director of baseball operations and help out with negotiations, communicating with the league, and other matters.
It also would make sense to hire an older executive to work as a mentor and sounding board for Romero, something the Sox should have required of Bloom and never did to his and their detriment.
Romero is traveling with the team this week. He’s essentially the executive in charge.
The Sox should give every consideration to making that a permanent position.