For much of the past two months, signs have pointed toward Chicago Cubs assistant general manager and senior vice president of pitching Craig Breslow leaving the Cubs' front office in favor of becoming the top voice in the Boston Red Sox's front office.
The news became official on Tuesday night as Breslow did indeed accept an offer from the Red Sox to be the team's next head of baseball operations.
Breslow had become an emerging voice in the Cubs' front office and that was made evident last off-season. In an indication of his increased role with the Cubs' front office, Breslow took a free-agent meeting with starting pitcher Jameson Taillon last winter while Cubs' president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer was recovering from COVID. The Cubs' decision to sign Taillon to a four-year deal was largely because of the visit that he had with Breslow.
Breslow's influence on the Cubs' organization extends far beyond the team's decision to sign Taillon. It's no surprise that in the year since 2019, when Breslow joined the organization, the Cubs' pitching infrastructure has been renovated to the extent to which pitchers are openly talking about it as a reason why they joined the team. Not to mention, it is the same infrastructure that developed Justin Steele into a homegrown ace for the team with pitching prospects Cade Horton, Ben Brown, and Jordan Wicks next in line for a shot at Major League success.
There is no doubt that Breslow will leave large shoes to fill in the Cubs' front office. However, the impact of Carter Hawkins should not be overlooked. Hawkins, as general manager of the Cubs, has more influence in the role than presumably Hoyer had when he was the general manager under Theo Epstein. Hawkins has a background in pitching development and that should continue to lead the Cubs to having a top-of-the-line pitching infrastructure.