3 candidates insiders view as possible Chaim Bloom replacements

Red Sox

All have New England ties.

David Forst was listed as a candidate to replace Chaim Bloom the day of the former Red Sox’ chief baseball officer’s firing. (AP Photo/Matt York

A number of names listed as potential replacements for former Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom have popped up in the days following his firing.

Cleveland Guardians’ president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and Oakland Athletics’ general manager David Forst were listed as possibilities by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi just a couple of hours after the news broke.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ general manager Brandon Gomes was another potential candidate floated by WEEI’s Rob Bradford.

Chris Antonetti

Antonetti, who has ties to New England through graduating high school in Connecticut as well as earning a degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has worked as a baseball executive since 1998. The 47-year-old got his start with the Montreal Expos before he was hired by the Guardians in 1999.

He was appointed Cleveland’s general manager in 2010 and took over as president of baseball operations five years later. Since 2015, Antonetti’s team has reached the playoffs five times, including a World Series appearance in 2016. Cleveland also signed star third baseman Jose Ramirez to a five-year, $124 million contract extension in April.

Antonetti won the MLB Executive of the Year Award last season following the Guardians’ first-place AL Central finish and their ALDS appearance.

David Forst

Forst is a 1998 Harvard graduate and attended spring training with Boston as an infielder the following year. He got his start behind the scenes in baseball in 2000 when the Athletics hired him as a scout. Forst was promoted to assistant general manager four years later. He became Oakland’s general manager after the 2015 season.

The Athletics reached the playoffs three straight seasons from 2018-20, but are now experiencing a rebuild. Since 2021, the team has traded a number of players, such as pitchers Chris Bassitt, Cole Irvin, Frankie Montas, and Sean Manaea, as well as infielders Matt Chapman and Matt Olson.

Oakland also sent away catchers Christian Bethancourt and Sean Murphy, all recognizable names who contributed to the team’s success in the late 2010s. The A’s currently have the worst record in baseball and are on the verge of relocating.

Brandon Gomes

A native of Fall River, Gomes has experienced a quick rise through the ranks in the Dodgers’ organization. The 39-year-old was pitching for the Chicago Cubs as recently as 2016 before being hired as the team’s pitching coordinator. He was promoted to Los Angeles’ director of player development following the 2017 season.

Gomes was elevated to the Dodgers’ vice president and assistant general manager in March 2019 before being named the franchise’s general manager before the 2022 season.

Since being hired as a front office member six years ago, Los Angeles has experienced much success on the field. The club has made the playoffs every season, including their 2020 World Series win.

The Dodgers notably traded for Mookie Betts from the Red Sox ahead of their victorious 2020 title run. They also signed star first baseman Freddie Freeman in March 2022. Both players have made cases to win NL MVP this year.

Names to rule out

While those are three names to keep an eye on as the Red Sox’ baseball operations chief search begins, there are some people to keep off your radar, as well. You can rule out former Boston general manager Theo Epstein, according to the team’s president Sam Kennedy.

Epstein’s name was first floated by DraftKings’ Jared Carrabis in the days before Bloom was fired by the Red Sox. The idea picked up steam on social media and prompted Kennedy to nix the idea during his press conference while fielding questions about Bloom’s firing. NBC Sports Boston’s John Tomase even threw a wet blanket on the suggestion three days before Bloom’s firing was announced.

Another name that was brought up following Bloom’s departure was Boston manager Alex Cora by ESPN’s Buster Olney. In a similar fashion, Cora essentially ruled himself out of the conversation multiple times. Kennedy also said he expects Cora to manage the team in 2024. However, it has been reported that Cora would one day be interested in the front office career path, most recently according to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.

Brian O’Halloran, Boston’s most recent general manager who was promoted to an unknown higher leadership position in the organization, is also not an option to replace Bloom.

Kennedy acknowledged that the search for a new front office leader “could take a while.” He also said the future general manager or president of baseball operations could be comprised of two people. 

With less than 15 games remaining in the 2023 season, and a long offseason ahead, we may not know who Bloom’s successor will be until next year.