The Red Sox are ready to begin the search for their next General Manager, and Jeff Passan says Astros Director of Player Management Quinton McCracken is in the mix.
Sources: Red Sox starting official GM hiring process. Well-regarded Astros director of player development Quinton McCracken is interviewing.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 21, 2015
As with most executives who have never held the role of GM before, McCracken, formerly the assistant director of player development with the Diamondbacks, is not the most well-known name in the business. Under the circumstances, the natural thing to do is to look at what kind of job he's done with the Houston Astros, and certainly their journey from one of the worst teams in baseball to a contender in 2015 speaks to his credit. But it needs to be noted that McCracken has been with the team for only three years. That makes it hard to differentiate how much of the team's revitalization is his doing, and how much is his predecessor's.
Still, that leaves McCracken's results neutral at worst, and quite positive at best. And the simple fact that he was hired by first Josh Byrnes (formerly of Theo Epstein's Red Sox) and then Jeff Luhnow would suggest that McCracken is firmly entrenched in the analytics camp. While any GM hired under Dave Dombrowski will not have the same level of power as the likes of Ben Cherington and Theo Epstein before them, there's reason to believe that Dombrowski would be best off having someone like McCracken working with him. It's why many were hoping Cherington would remain in some capacity, if not as the man with final word on team decisions.
For now, though, McCracken is just another name in a list. The Frank Wren rumors (which are about as far in the other direction as possible) have been quiet for a while, but they also haven't been shot down. For my money, I'd hope it's someone like McCracken--if, indeed, he is analytically-inclined--who gets picked up, but either way, it's probably not so big a deal as it will be made out to be. For many teams in baseball, the Red Sox the latest, the general manager position just isn't what it used to be.