New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday that he would hire a general manager to replace Ben Cherington - but wouldn't rush the decision.
Based on conversations with multiple industry sources, here are some potential candidates that Dombrowski might be considering:
For the time being, Wren has been established as the favorite. Wren worked under Dombrowski with the Marlins before being hired for a season as the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, then eight more seasons as the GM in Atlanta. Wren did a generally good job with the Braves, but his tenure ended badly last September after a falling out with team president John Schuerholz.
Wren met with Dombrowski in the Tampa area at the end of July and the two are known to communicate frequently.
Dipoto was hired as a consultant by the Red Sox two weeks ago, brought in to provide a critical eye to evaluate the organization's own prospects as the club heads into the post-season.
He had spent 3 1/2 seasons as general manager of the Los Angeles Angels and led them to a 98-win season last year. But Dipoto often clashed with manager Mike Scioscia and when Dipoto went to owner Arte Moreno with a either-he-goes-or-I-go ultimatum, he lost.
Dombrowski is known to like and respect Dipoto and Dipoto's thorough knowledge of analytics would nicely balance Dombrowski's more conventional player evaluation methods.
Added bonus: he's already a Red Sox employee.
Eppler is a highly regarded young executive and was a finalist for the San Diego GM vacancy - along with current Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen and A.J. Preller.
It's widely assumed that Eppler - blocked in New York by longtime GM Brian Cashman - will get a GM job this winter with several potential openings looming.
Dombrowski speaks highly of him, but would the Yankees discourage him from taking a job with the Red Sox?
O'Dowd was squeezed out in Colorado and is currently doing some TV work for the MLB Network. He and Dombrowski are close