On Sept. 30, 2017, the Boston Red Sox clinched their second consecutive American League East title, making it the first time the Red Sox had ever won back-to-back division crowns. Nine days later, the Red Sox were out of the postseason, eliminated by the Houston Astros in four games. It was the second straight postseason where the Red Sox failed to make it out of the American League Division Series.
On Wednesday, that quick playoff exit -- and myriad other issues -- led the Red Sox to fire manager John Farrell, who managed the "Boston Strong"-inspired team to a World Series championship in 2013, with one year remaining on his contract.
With Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers, the Red Sox have a ton of young talent in their lineup. They have one of the better starting rotations led by Cy Young Award candidate Chris Sale and a premier closer in Craig Kimbrel. Whoever takes the reins of this team will have plenty to work with in 2018.
But who will it be to lead the Red Sox in 2018? Is there an under-the-radar candidate that could be the choice? We asked ESPN.com's David Schoenfield and Red Sox reporter Scott Lauber to weigh in on who might be the next manager.
1. Who are the best fits?