With Friedman off the board, where do the Red Sox go from here?

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

Does anybody want to be general manager of the Boston Red Sox?

Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is the latest potential Red Sox GM candidate to come off the board. The 43-year-old told reporters in Los Angeles Monday that he expects to sign a new contract with the Dodgers in the coming days, all but ending speculation he could bolt LA for Boston.

Many believed that Friedman would be the ideal candidate for Boston given his success in building perennial contenders while maintaining a strong farm system. His reliance on analytics would have meshed well with the Red Sox, who reportedly want to adopt an additional reliance on data in 2020 after a disappointing 2019 season.

Friedman now joins a growing list of external candidates to pass on a chance to take over baseball operations in Boston. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein dispelled rumors that he could return to the Red Sox a few weeks ago and his right-hand man, Jed Hoyer, is also not believed to be interested.

President Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs waves to the crowd during a World Series Championship ring ceremony before a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
President Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs waves to the crowd during a World Series Championship ring ceremony before a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen signed a contract extension at the beginning of the offseason, meaning he will not return to Boston after working under Epstein and Ben Cherington.

Derek Falvey, the Chief Baseball Officer for the Minnesota Twins, is reportedly on the verge of signing a new deal in the Twin Cities. Some had suggested the Lynn native could be a candidate the Red Sox would consider.

So where do the Red Sox go from here?

Owner John Henry said at the end of September he preferred an experienced external candidate to take over given the challenges the Red Sox will face moving forward. At this point it's fair to wonder if any executives who fit that mold remain on the list.

The Red Sox have somehow made one of the most desirable jobs in baseball as undesirable as it has ever been. Both Dave Dombrowski and Ben Cherington were fired less than two years after winning World Series titles, decisions that could be scaring potential candidates away. The new general manager will also be directed to slash payroll by more than $30 million next season and will take over a team with a shallow farm system.

If Henry still wants an external candidate, he might have to tap somebody who has never been a general manager before. 36-year-old Chaim Bloom, the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Tampa Bay Rays, has been floated as a potential fit for the Red Sox.

But at this point, it seems that the Red Sox might have to open themselves up to the possibility that an external hire might not materialize.

Everybody keeps saying no, will somebody eventually say yes?

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub's own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.