There is quite a bit going on in Boston right now, with Terry Francona exiting as manager last week, Theo Epstein in the Cubs' sights, and ownership generally quiet about the whole thing. Until now!
John Henry, recovered from his fall last week, has been tweeting about the progress of the Red Sox' managerial search via Twitter:
Henry continued, saying that they may start the actual interview process next week. As for just who they are looking at, no one is entirely sure, though plenty of people have been making articles out of guesses. My personal preference at this early "no one knows anything" stage would be A.J. Hinch. He's currently the vice president of scouting for the San Diego Padres, working with former Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer and former Director of Amateur Scouting Jason McLeod, but he used to be the manager of the Diamondbacks under another former Red Sox assistant GM, Josh Byrnes (who also works in San Diego right now, as the Vice President of Baseball Operations.) Hinch has more of a background in front offices than as a manager, but, much like John Farrell, who was Director of Player Development in Cleveland before he was the Red Sox pitching coach, that background might serve him well on the field, as he understands the game in a more complete fashion.
Don't judge him based on his record with the D'backs -- had the Red Sox done just that with Terry Francona based on his time with the Phillies, he never would have managed here. Someone like Hinch, who looks to be somewhat of a Renaissance Man baseball lifer, would be an intriguing fit. And hey, he's a former catcher, something that could possibly benefit both the pitchers and a developing catcher like Ryan Lavarnway.
The Cubs have asked for permission to speak with Theo Epstein, and while my idea of demands are far-fetched (but really, why wouldn't you want to extort the Cubs, taking advantage of every ounce of their desperation?), it's likely that the Cubs will have to pay dearly in order to pry Epstein, who has one year left on his current contract with Boston, away from the Red Sox. The interesting thing about these sorts of deals is that Theo might be attracted to the Cubs for a variety of reasons, one of which is due to the base of talent they have coming through the farm system. In order to get Theo to Chicago, though, part of that farm system would likely end up back in Boston.
No one is quite sure whether Epstein even would want to go to Chicago or not, but, even with what seems like a great gig in Boston, there are reasons for him to want a change. He's won in Boston twice, and was the general manager of the team that finally won a World Series after 86 years of futility. Not only that, but he was GM when they won again in 2007. The only way to stand out, historically-speaking, more than that, would to also be the GM who brought Chicago their first World Series in over 100 years. It's a legacy-building move, even if Theo isn't explicitly interested for that reason.
That being said, we'll know soon enough if he's interested or not. The Red Sox don't have to let him talk to the Cubs even if he is, but I have a hard time believing Henry would hold Theo hostage were he interested in moving to Chicago. We'll save the "Who should be the next Red Sox GM?" talk for when we know if that's going to even be an issue. Plus, that's easy! He already works with the team, and is working on the search for a manager alongside Theo.