The Boston Red Sox fired Chaim Bloom on September 15. As of this article's writing, 34 days later and the Red Sox still don't have a replacement named.
How much panic that should necessitate from Red Sox fans probably depends on who you ask. On one hand, the meaningful responsibilities for a general manager really don't come into play until after the GM meetings which start Nov. 7. Then, winter meetings in early December are where most of the offseason work is done as far as acquiring player personnel.
On the other hand, November is not far off. December comes up quickly. The team moving on from Bloom before the season was over should have given them a leg-up on hiring so the person they brought in had as much time as possible to map out their plan. Unfortunately, some candidates have turned the role down entirely, and the candidate they're focusing in on could very well choose to stick with the Cubs, where he's employed now.
There's a clear reason why some candidates may not want the role, and it reflects poorly on the Red Sox, because it's entirely self-inflicted.
Red Sox have made their own GM role as unattractive as possible
In his reporting on the fact that the Red Sox and current Cubs Director of Pitching Craig Breslow are advancing discussions for his candidacy for the role, Patrick Mooney cautioned that a litany of factors could result in Breslow pulling himself out of the running (subscription required).
Mooney said for one, the Red Sox are making it clear the new GM won't get to make all the decisions. Manager Alex Cora is safe, for one thing. A choice of manager is often one of the most direct ways a GM can make an impact on a team after securing the proper players. Making that choice a non-factor removes a fair bit of early autonomy for the Bloom replacement.
Secondly, Mooney suggested that a possible two-executive system could be considered in Boston, something that may ultimately send Breslow back to Chicago. It's hard to see the league's best executives choosing a role where they would be sharing duties with another candidate. It's also reasonable to expect a two-pronged executive situation could lead to more bad than good, with possible friction and incongruence over key decisions. Suddenly, it makes a ton of sense why key executives aren't rushing to the role.
Kim Ng, who recently left the Miami Marlins, decided to leave in part because Miami was pursuing a similar option. Ng is viewed as a possible Red Sox GM candidate, but surely wouldn't sign on if the two-GM option were really in play.
While Mooney didn't suggest that Breslow was actually thinking of these things just yet, it's reasonable to expect they'll come up in the pros and cons list. It could leave the door open for the Cubs to cement Breslow in Chicago for years to come.
The Red Sox may not get the best candidate available, all because they're making the role as unattractive as possible.