12:11pm: Cotillo and Sean McAdam of MassLive have now reported that Ng has declined to interview for Boston’s baseball operations vacancy, despite what the pair describe as strong interest in Ng from the Red Sox. Ng’s reasons for declining the interview are not yet known.
11:45am: In their ongoing search for Chaim Bloom’s replacement as head of baseball operations in Boston, the Red Sox have interviewed another external candidate, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe: former Phillies and Giants manager Gabe Kapler.
Kapler, 48, is something of an unorthodox candidate to take the top baseball operations job for the Red Sox. Though he has previous front office experience as director of player development for the Dodgers from 2014-2017, most of his baseball experience has come on the field and in the dugout; he was a player in the major leagues for six different teams across twelve seasons before serving as manager of the Phillies from 2018-2019 before being replaced by Joe Girardi. From there, he was promptly hired to replace Bruce Bochy in San Francisco, and managed there for four seasons before being fired just before the end of the 2023 campaign.
That being said, Kapler has plenty of ties to Boston. His major league playing career saw him play parts of four seasons for the Red Sox, including 136 games during the club’s curse-breaking 2004 season that saw them win the World Series for the first time since 1918. After initially retiring following the 2006 season, Kapler took a job as the manager of Boston’s High-A affiliate in Greenville for the 2007 season before making a comeback as a big league player from 2008-2010.
What’s more, Kapler is a fairly well-respected and decorated big league manager. Though his teams have made the postseason just once during his six seasons in the dugout, his teams have never significantly under-performed preseason expectations, and during his Giants tenure the club typically outperformed their projections. Most notable of those over-performances, of course, was San Francisco’s 107-win 2021 campaign that saw Kapler win the NL Manager of the Year award in a nearly unanimous vote. PECOTA’s projections that season gave San Francisco a projected win total of just 75, while Fangraphs projected the club to win 76. The club also outperformed it’s projections in 2020 and 2022, though not to the same staggering degree as in 2021.
Kapler is hardly the only external candidate the Red Sox are currently discussing, as Cubs assistant GM Craig Breslow, Twins GM Thad Levine, and former Pirates GM Neal Huntington are among the other candidates that have interviewed for the top job in Boston, along with internal candidates such as assistant GMs Eddie Romero and Paul Groopman. Per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo, Kapler is reportedly something of a long shot to ultimately land the top job in Boston. Speier previously described Breslow as a “leading candidate” for the position as the club heads into the next phase of their search.
Cotillo adds that Kapler is believed to be interested in both on-field and front office roles as he seeks his next job after departing San Francisco. Though he’s seemingly only interviewed to run the baseball operations department in Boston at this point, there’s certainly nothing preventing Kapler from returning to the Red Sox organization in another capacity should the club decide to go in another direction for their top job.
The Red Sox have seen a number of high-profile candidates decline to interview for the position, including former Astros GM James Click and former Marlins president Michael Hill. Another high profile candidate who has been rumored for the position is former Marlins GM Kim Ng, who recently declined her end of a mutual option with Miami after ownership decided to pick up their side of the option rather than offer Ng an extension while looking to hire a president of baseball operations above her. While her departure from Miami seemingly opened the door to her joining the Red Sox, Cotillo cautions that multiple sources recently “threw cold water” on the idea of Ng matching up with Boston.