The Red Sox made it clear very early that Theo Epstein would not replace Chaim Bloom as the head of their baseball operations department.

It seems as if Boston perhaps settled on what it hopes is the second coming of Epstein, reportedly hiring his protege, Craig Breslow, to lead the charge moving forward.

Despite having never run a front office, the Sox reportedly tabbed Breslow to head up their baseball operations department, per multiple reports Tuesday night. It’s unclear what that ultimately will entail in regards to how the front office shakes out, but Breslow is reportedly the man.

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There’s an obvious risk to the decision. Again, Breslow has never been tasked with running an entire front office, and his experience is relatively limited. The Cubs hired him in 2019, though he quickly ascended through the organizational ranks. That’s in large part because Epstein apparently loved him.

According to just about everything you’ll read or hear about how Breslow transitioned from the bullpen to the executive suite, it was Epstein who essentially hand-picked the former reliever for a post-playing role. It’s not entirely difficult to see why, either. Breslow went to Yale — ever heard of it? — where he majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry (Epstein, by the way, majored in American studies, or, as his sister put it “the athletes’ major”). He could have become a doctor but instead chased his baseball dreams in the show.

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The layman probably doesn’t even know what molecular biophysics is, let alone how it can be applied to running a baseball team. But Breslow clearly is sharp and has two decades of professional baseball experience on which to draw.

“I think Theo Epstein was personally involved with (Breslow’s front-office rise),” The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, who covers the Cubs, recently said on Audacy’s “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast.

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“(Epstein) kind of made this happen when Craig was trying to make this transition. He basically said ‘You make the job description, you fill out the contract, do whatever you want, you have amazing credentials,’ (and) that was kind of the pitch to him.”

So, Epstein clearly paved Breslow’s path to the North Side of Chicago, and it’s worth wondering whether he helped get him to Jersey Street, too. This hire belongs to Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy, who famously is close friends with Epstein dating back decades. Legendary baseball insider Peter Gammons, also someone close to Epstein over the years, connected those very large dots, too.

Just knowing and being liked by Epstein likely isn’t enough to get a job, even with the Kennedy-run Red Sox. What is likely, though, is that Boston is hoping Breslow through his own intelligence and osmosis from his time with the Cubs, is able to have similar success to Epstein. The similarities are hard to deny, too. Both are products of Yale, extremely sharp and accustomed to having success early in their respective front-office careers. They even share a common bond as major influencers in the Jewish baseball community, too.

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The comparisons aren’t perfect, of course. The backgrounds aren’t exactly the same, and Breslow is arguably inheriting a roster that needs more work than Epstein’s talented roster littered with the likes of Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez. It’s a little bit unfair to Breslow to put his name next to Epstein, who has a no-doubt ticket to Cooperstown as arguably the best team-builder the sport has ever seen.

But Epstein’s influence is all over Breslow’s executive career, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn he helped Boston come to this decision. The Sox just have to hope there are no gorilla suits in Breslow’s future.

Featured image via Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports Images