Peter Gammons today mentioned Boston assistant GM Mike Hazen as a candidate, noting his ties to John Hart. Hazen helped build a Cleveland farm system that produced the likes of Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez and Brandon Phillips in the early aughts before moving to Boston.
Former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker’s name has also surfaced, although it’s been 10 years since he was an everyday GM. But his resume is quite impressive, taking an Astros team that had gone a decade between playoff appearances and turning them into perennial contenders, acquiring Moises Alou, Carl Everett and Carlos Beltran for Octavio Dotel, John Buck and John Hudek, signing Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Jeff Kent and drafting Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Brad Lidge. And he did all that with a mid-market budget and a meddling owner.
After resigning in 2004 Hunsicker went to work as an adviser to Tampa GM Andrew Freidman, helping build what has become a model franchise. Most will hold his age (64) against him but his track record speaks for itself.