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John Henry: Red Sox thought about making Theo Epstein president, Ben Cherington GM

10.21.13 at 2:18 pm ET
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Red Sox owner John Henry appeared on WEEI on Saturday and discussed the Red Sox’ transformation from AL East cellar-dwellers in 2012 to American League pennant-winners this season.

John Henry

John Henry

Henry revealed that Ben Cherington, who took over the general manager position in 2012 after Theo Epstein left for the Cubs, was being groomed for the position, and that Boston had a plan that would have paired Cherington and Epstein together in the front office.

“We knew for years that [Cherington] was going to be our next general manager,” Henry said. “At one point we’d even talked about Theo becoming president, allowing Ben to become general manager.”

That plan never materialized, as Epstein became president of the Cubs in 2012, and Larry Lucchino remained the team president, while Cherington slid into the position vacated by Epstein.

In his first offseason with complete control, Cherington acquired vital free agent pieces of the 2013 puzzle in Koji Uehara, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew.

“We made a decision where we were going to concentrate on having more depth,” said Henry, before the Red Sox’ Game 6 ALCS win that sent Boston to the World Series. “Instead of spending 20 or 25 million dollars for a player, we’re going to go out and get two or three players.”

Cherington also pulled the strings on a trade midway through the season that sent prized shortstop Jose Iglesias to Detroit as part of a three-team trade that landed White Sox starter Jake Peavy.

“We thought we would be in position, and we thought we’d have the pitching, especially after we acquired Jake, I think we really thought we’d have the pitching to go through this playoff if everyone is healthy. And they’re healthy,” Henry said.

Cherington, Henry and the Red Sox organization tabbed John Farrell as manager, one year after Boston finished 69-93 with Bobby Valentine at the helm.

“So many of the players have talked about the first day of spring training, and for me, it began about that time, where I realized he was much more a take-charge guy than I had realized, that he really did have a strong presence with everybody from coaches to players and on up the line,” Henry said.

Henry talked about the excitement of the 2013 Red Sox team and compared it to 2007, when Boston won its second World Series title in four years.

“The last time we had that feeling of really euphoria was 2007,” Henry said. “It’s been a long time.”

To hear the interview, go the the Red Sox audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: ben cherington, John Henry, Jonny Gomes, Koji Uehara
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