Gabe Kapler in, Kim Ng out as Red Sox's search for head of baseball operations continues (2024)

Nothing is imminent in the Boston Red Sox’s search for a new head of baseball operations. According to multiple people with knowledge of the process, the Red Sox have yet to move into the second round of interviews and are not particularly close to making an offer to anyone. It’s believed that none of the candidates have yet interviewed with principal owner John Henry.


But the pool of candidates is coming into clearer focus.

Two people familiar with the process told The Athletic that former big-league manager Gabe Kapler is among those who have interviewed for the opening. Kapler spent the past six seasons as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, and before that he served as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of player development. Kapler would be an outside-the-box hire as an analytics-minded former player who’s never held one of the top two seats in baseball operations. “The Boston Globe” was the first to report his involvement.

A more obvious fit for the job, former Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, declined to interview for the Red Sox job, according to additional people with knowledge of the situation. Ng, the first female general manager in the four major North American sports, stepped down as Marlins GM earlier this week. MassLive was the first to report Ng’s decision to not pursue the Red Sox job, and she’s not the first to do so.

“The Boston Globe” reported Wednesday that another former general manager, James Click, withdrew his name from consideration after talking to the Red Sox. Click works in the Toronto Blue Jays front office and last year won the World Series as general manager of the Houston Astros. Click reportedly withdrew “in deference to family considerations,” which is believed also to be a driving factor for some other high-profile candidates — Phillies GM Sam Fuld, Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes, Tampa Bay Rays advisor Jon Daniels — who declined to interview for the job.

Gabe Kapler in, Kim Ng out as Red Sox's search for head of baseball operations continues (1)

Gabe Kapler celebrates at Fenway Park after Game 3 of the 2004 ALDS. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Among the others known to be in consideration are assistant general manager Eddie Romero — believed by many to be the favorite among internal candidates — as well as Chicago Cubs assistant general manager Craig Breslow and Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine. Former Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Neal Huntington also reportedly interviewed, though one major-league source downplayed the likelihood of him ending up with the job.


A person close to Breslow, and another close to Levine, described each as a strong candidate getting serious consideration. Breslow is said to be uninterested in a potential No. 2 job with the Red Sox. If he’s not selected for the top job, he seems more likely to stay with the Cubs than to accept a supporting role with the Red Sox.

Some in the industry believe other candidates whose identities are not yet known are also involved in the search process.

“The Boston Globe” reported that another Red Sox assistant general manager, Mike Groopman, and Red Sox vice president of amateur scouting and player development, Paul Toboni, are also among those who have interviewed. The Athletic was told both Groopman and Toboni were among the early targets for interviews, but it’s unclear where they stand. Groopman has a strong analytics background and has previously worked for the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers. Toboni came up through the Red Sox’s amateur scouting department and is considered one of the rising minds and voices within the organization.

Team president Sam Kennedy has left open the possibility of hiring both a head of baseball operations and a No. 2 in the department. While various sources have said initial interviews are clearly focused on the top job, it’s possible the Red Sox are also gathering information for a second-in-command or for an inner circle that could include a heightened scouting element. Romero, Toboni, vice president of scouting Mike Rikard, and vice president of scouting development and integration Gus Quattlebaum are among the notable scouting voices in the organization.

Kapler, 48, was a member of the Red Sox team that broke the franchise’s 86-year championship drought by winning the World Series in 2004. He played five more seasons in the major leagues — with a stint as a minor-league manager in the middle of that time — before retiring for good to work in television, then for three years in player development for the Dodgers, and most recently as manager of the Phillies (2018-19) and Giants (2020 until he was fired in September). Kapler is known for his appreciation for analytics and his outspoken views on health and nutrition. Kapler is almost universally painted as a unique voice within the sport, and his approach can be framed positively or negatively depending on the source.


“I don’t have one negative thing to say about Gabe Kapler,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said after Kapler was fired. “Not just as a person, but from a professional standpoint and during his time with us. He’s thoughtful, he’s creative, he’s incredibly hard-working. He’s loyal. He’s diligent. He’s really passionate about this game.”

— The Athletic’s Dan Hayes and Patrick Mooney contributed to this report.

(Top photo of Gabe Kapler: Sergio Estrada / USA Today)

Gabe Kapler in, Kim Ng out as Red Sox's search for head of baseball operations continues (2)Gabe Kapler in, Kim Ng out as Red Sox's search for head of baseball operations continues (3)

Chad Jennings is a staff writer for The Athletic covering the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball. He was on the Red Sox beat previously for the Boston Herald, and before moving to Boston, he covered the New York Yankees for The Journal News and contributed regularly to USA Today. Follow Chad on Twitter @chadjennings22

Gabe Kapler in, Kim Ng out as Red Sox's search for head of baseball operations continues (2024)


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