Boston Red Sox hire former Team Israel pitcher Craig Breslow to lead baseball operations


((JR)) — The Boston Red Sox have reportedly hired former Team Israel pitcher Craig Breslow to lead their baseball operations department.

Breslow, 43, replaces Chaim Bloom, a fellow Jewish Yale University graduate who was fired by the team last month. The Boston Globe first reported Breslow’s hire Tuesday, and MassLive reported that Breslow will hold the same title — chief baseball officer — as his predecessor, becoming the face of the team’s front office and its lead decision maker on players, coaches and personnel.

Breslow played 17 years of professional baseball, including 12 seasons in the MLB, during which he pitched for seven teams. He played for Boston two separate times, including as a member of the 2013 World Series championship team. He also pitched for Team Israel in the qualifying round for the 2017 World Baseball Classic but ultimately dropped out of the main tournament to pursue an opportunity with the Minnesota Twins.

Shortly after his playing career ended, Breslow was recruited by Theo Epstein (another Jewish former Red Sox executive) to join the Chicago Cubs front office. Breslow served as the club’s director of strategic initiatives in 2019 before being promoted to director of pitching in 2020 and finally assistant general manager in 2021.

Breslow, who majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale, was often called “the smartest man in baseball” during his career. He grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, and attended Congregation B’nai Israel in nearby Bridgeport. Breslow had a bar mitzvah in 1993 and has fasted while pitching on Yom Kippur.

“Being Jewish is more difficult in baseball… but I try to do what I can in terms of paying attention to holidays,” Breslow told Moment magazine in 2011

Breslow — who still lives in Newton, a Boston suburb with a sizable Jewish population — had emerged as a leading candidate to take over the Red Sox job shortly after Bloom’s abrupt departure.

Fellow Team Israel alumni Sam Fuld, the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager, and Gabe Kapler — who was fired from his role as manager of San Francisco Giants earlier this month and replaced by fellow Jewish manager Bob Melvin — were also considered possible replacements. Kapler, who had previously worked as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ director of player development, interviewed for the job and was seen as a serious contender, while Fuld was one of many candidates to decline an interview. Twins general manager Thad Levine, who is Jewish, also interviewed for the opening.