A four-person committee of baseball operations executives will represent the Red Sox at this week’s general manager’s meetings, which begin today and represent the unofficial beginning of baseball’s hot stove season.
The Globe’s Gordon Edes is on site at the meetings in Palm Springs, Calif., and will be filing periodic updates on what the Red Sox are up to.
Without Theo Epstein, the Sox will be represented in Palm Springs by Jed Hoyer (assistant to the GM), Peter Woodfork (director of baseball operations, assistant director of player development), Ben Cherington (director of player development), and Craig Shipley (special assistant to the GM).
The four spoke during a media conference call Saturday and Hoyer, outlining the team’s ambitions this week, said the Sox intend to resume conversations with representatives for free agents Johnny Damon and Bill Mueller, conversations Epstein began before departing.
”In mentioning those two by name, I didn’t want to rule out our other free agents,” Hoyer said, alluding to Tony Graffanino, Mike Myers, John Olerud, Kevin Millar, and Matt Mantei. I don’t think I want to articulate our [negotiating] plan. We have one. We do want to talk to those guys [Damon and Mueller].”
The group was asked whether any of them had asked to be candidates in the GM search, or had been asked by Sox ownership and upper management about the possibility of interviewing for the job.
”I don’t think anybody here has made themselves a candidate,” said Shipley, who at 40 is the eldest of the group. ”We obviously know the direction the organization is going in. We know Theo’s feelings regarding what we’ve done and what we will do. The biggest thing is we know each other. We’re confident in each others’ abilities. We’re respectful of each others’ positions.”
Hoyer said ”we really are going to work as one group” without a designated GM at the meetings. But the 31-year-old Hoyer stands to be the closest thing to a GM the club has. Hoyer is viewed as having the best overall working knowledge of the baseball operations department and, along with departed assistant GM Josh Byrnes, ranked as one of Epstein’s closest confidants.
”Every evening we’ll call or e-mail ownership and Larry to go over daily events,” Hoyer said.
Information from Chris Snow’s story in Saturday’s Boston Globe was used in this report.