When John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino took over stewardship of the Red Sox franchise in February 2002, they soon relieved Dan Duquette of his position as general manager. However, the team was not yet prepared to make a permanent hire and instead turned to Mike Port to be the club's interim GM. Port had served as assistant GM and then Vice President of Baseball Operations since 1993 and his knowledge of the team helped during the transitional year.
Port's most notable acquisition occurred on June 4, 2002, when the club drafted a young left-handed pitcher named Jon Lester in the second round of the amateur draft. Despite 93 wins, the 2002 Red Sox missed the playoffs and after the season the new ownership group set its sights on finding a permanent GM. The Red Sox ownership picked an internal candidate and promoted the team's assistant general manager, Theo Epstein, to the position of GM.