By Sean McAdam
It's widely expected that Ben Cherington, whose historywith the organization pre-dates Theo Epstein's, will be named as the team'snext general manager if Epstein leaves for Chicago.
Cherington has an extensive scoutingand player development background and served as co-GM with Jed Hoyer --now the general manager of the San Diego Padres -- when Epstein leftthe Red Sox for three months after the 2005 season.
It'sworth noting, too, that Cherington has been in on a number ofhigh-level meetings with team ownership since the Red Sox' seasoncrashed and burned on the final day of the season.
Cheringtonwas involved as ownership met with Terry Francona two days after theseason to determine his future. After the Sox and Francona agreed topart company, Cherington joined Epstein in briefing ownership onpotential managerial replacements, an indication of the trust ownershiphas in him.
Promoting Cherington would also provide aseamless transition as the Sox move on from the Epstein era and begintheir search for a new manager.