With Dave Dombrowski out, who’s in charge of the team fielded by the Red Sox?
The answer has a familiar ring. For now, the Red Sox are being led by a committee of front-office members, much as was the case when four members of the front office stewarded the team after Theo Epstein’s Halloween 2005 departure. In its press release announcing Dombrowski’s firing, the Sox announced that the team’s three assistant GMs – Brian O’Halloran, Eddie Romero, and Zack Scott — would lead the department, with senior VP of major and minor league operations Raquel Ferreira taking on an expanded role during the search for Dombrowski’s replacement.
O’Halloran, Romero, Scott, and Ferreira are well known to those inside the Red Sox organization, even if they enjoy relatively low profiles outside of it. So who are they?
■ Eddie Romero, executive vice president and assistant general manager. Romero, the son of former Red Sox infielder Ed Romero Sr., worked as a Florida state prosecutor after graduating from law school before commencing his front-office career in 2006. He spent most of his career working first in international operations and international scouting (he directed the Sox’ international amateur scouting efforts from 2011-16) before getting elevated to assistant GM after the 2016 campaign.
Romero has been part of an international scouting group that has enjoyed numerous successes under his leadership, whether on bigger-dollar signings (Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada) or lower-profile players such as Darwinzon Hernandez and Bryan Mata who emerged as top prospects despite being low-dollar signees. As assistant GM over the last three years, he worked across departments, and had Dombrowski ever promoted a member of the Red Sox front office staff to the role of GM (vacant since the departure of Mike Hazen in 2016), many thought Romero would be the choice.
■ Brian O’Halloran, executive vice president and assistant general manager. O’Halloran joined the Red Sox as a baseball operations assistant in 2002. His prior career working in business operations for an international logistics company in Moscow likely prepared him for the Kafkaesque labyrinth both of a baseball operation and MLB rules and regulations. Over 18 seasons with the Red Sox, O’Halloran has put those skills to use in overseeing Red Sox compliance with MLB rules while also playing a key role in long-term contract negotiations.
■ Zack Scott, senior vice president and assistant general manager. Scott has been part of the Red Sox front office since joining the group as an intern in 2004 — a post he accepted after serving as a consultant to the team while at Diamond Mind, Inc., a developer of baseball simulation software with whom the Red Sox worked in preparation for the 2003 postseason.
Scott used to be involved heavily in the team’s contracts, but in recent seasons, he’s overseen the team’s significant expansion of its baseball analytics and baseball systems departments. From the time that manager Alex Cora was hired, he’d leaned heavily on Scott and his department to provide information and recommendations to inform all aspects of the game-planning process.
■ Raquel Ferreira, senior VP of major and minor league operations: Over more than two decades in the Red Sox front office, Ferreira has ascended from an entry-level assistant position to become one of the highest ranking officials in the organization. Her responsibilities are diverse, including oversight of the daily operations of the major league clubhouse as well as daily operations for the organization’s minor league affiliates — the latter responsibility including issues such as transactions, contract tenders, payroll, insurance, and immigration. Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington once described her as the only person with whom he’d ever worked who never made a mistake in their day-to-day responsibilities.
Beyond those formal responsibilities, Ferreira also plays an advisory role for minor leaguers while ensuring that they have the on- and off-field support to provide them with the best chance of succeeding in their careers. Players place enormous trust in her as a surrogate family member of sorts within the organization. Many describe her as having been essential to the successful negotiations of the contract extension for Xander Bogaerts.