The Red Sox have a new leader of baseball operations.
According to multiple industry sources, the team offered the job to Cubs assistant GM and former Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow. He has accepted the offer and will succeed Chaim Bloom as the Red Sox’ next chief baseball officer.
Breslow, 43, pitched professionally for 17 seasons, including 12 in the big leagues, from 2002-18. That playing career included a pair of stints with the Red Sox.
The first came in 2006-07. He spent one day on the big league roster in 2007, but didn’t pitch. Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter rendering the bullpen unnecessary before Breslow was sent back down, but he still received a World Series ring for the roundtrip between Pawtucket and Boston.
The second ran from the middle of 2012 through 2015 — a stretch that included Breslow’s emergence as a late-innings anchor for a championship team in 2013.
After his playing career, Breslow immediately jumped into front-office work, commencing a rapid rise as an executive. The Cubs hired him as their director of strategic initiatives in 2019, tasking him with incorporating data-based evaluation and development into every aspect of their operation. He was promoted in 2020 to become director of pitching and special assistant to president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer, then received another bump to assistant GM in 2021.
Breslow’s obvious area of expertise is pitching. Since he joined the Cubs, Chicago has emerged from an organization with little to no homegrown pitching —the 2016 championship team was almost entirely reliant on starters who were acquired either via trade or free agency — to one with a steady pipeline of big league contributors, led by ace Justin Steele.
That said, as assistant GM, Breslow — even while working remotely from Newton for a significant part of the calendar — has been involved in most aspects of baseball operations for the Cubs, including big league roster construction as well as work with the coaching staff.
Breslow, a Connecticut native who graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular physics and biochemistry, was long heralded as one of the brightest players in the game. While he has relatively little front office experience compared to most people put in charge of baseball operations departments, there are similarities between Breslow and Rangers GM Chris Young.
Young was a longtime pitcher who spent three years as an executive in the MLB Commissioner’s office, then spent just under two years as the second-ranking front-office member in Texas alongside president of baseball operations Jon Daniels. When Daniels was fired last August, Young was elevated to lead the team’s baseball operations last August. In his first full year running the Rangers, Texas has advanced to the World Series.
Breslow also has a number of pre-existing relationships with the Red Sox from his time with the team. He played with Alex Cora in 2006 and 2007, got to know members of the team’s current senior leadership team and ownership group as a more prominent part of the big league roster from 2012-15, and continues to take part in Red Sox alumni events. He attended the team’s Winter Weekend festivities in Springfield in January, when the Sox brought back several members of the 2013 championship team, and was also present in April when the Sox commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Marathon Bombings.
Breslow emerged as a candidate shortly after the Sox commenced a search for a head of baseball operations after firing Chaim Bloom on Sept. 14. The team had at least eight known first-round interviews for the job: Breslow, Levine, Guardians special assistant and former Pirates GM Neal Huntington, former Phillies and Giants manager and ex-director of player development Gabe Kapler, Blue Jays VP of baseball strategy and former Astros GM James Click (who withdrew after an initial conversation), and three internal candidates: assistant GM Eddie Romero Jr., assistant GM Michael Groopman, and VP of player development and scouting Paul Toboni.
Several other candidates — including Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey, Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen, former Marlins GM Kim Ng, Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes, Phillies GM Sam Fuld, MLB VP of baseball operations Michael Hill, Diamondbacks assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye, and Red Sox assistant GM Raquel Ferreira — declined to interview.
On Monday, the Sox informed multiple candidates (including Levine) that they were no longer being considered for the opening atop the baseball operations department. But it appears that outreach signaled not merely a second round of the interview process but instead the imminent conclusion of the search process.
Once his hiring becomes official, Breslow will be able to lead the process of deciding whether to hire a second-ranking front office member (perhaps with the title of general manager).
Michael Silverman of the Globe staff contributed to this story.