NEW YORK -- Gene Michael, the longtime Yankees executive, was on the short list of candidates the new Red Sox owners considered as a replacement for general manager Dan Duquette when they took over the team in 2002, but the Yankees denied the Sox permission to talk to him.
Now, a decade later, with the Red Sox looking to augment their front office with veteran talent evaluators, another Yankees executive has interest in working for the team, according to major-league sources, and it’s possible the Yankees might not be able to prevent his departure.
Gordon Blakeley, who has been in baseball for nearly a quarter of a century, first as a scout for the Mariners then with the Yankees, and has had a hand in signing a who’s who of talent that includes Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, Orlando Hernandez, Jason Varitek, Robinson Cano, Hideki Matsui and Jose Contreras, has spent the last nine seasons as a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.
But his contract expires Oct. 31, and while the Red Sox privately say they believe that the Yankees would try to block Blakeley from going to Boston, that’s not necessarily the case.
The Red Sox probably would have to make the first move, but after hiring Eddie Bane, another top evaluator, as a special assignment major-league scout who also will be used on the international and amateur level, it’s an open question whether they would want to create another major position for Blakeley.
But it’s an intriguing proposition. Blakeley has scouted on the pro, amateur and international levels since beginning as an area scout with the Mariners in 1988. Why would he consider a move to the Red Sox? According to a major-league source, Blakeley’s voice doesn’t carry the same weight it once did in Yankees decision-making and he could be open to a change.