Despite title, Hazen still No. 2 in Boston front office

BOSTON — Mike Hazen’s new job? Not much different from his old job.

Hazen was promoted Thursday to become the 15th general manager in Red Sox history. However, it was made clear, both by Hazen and new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, that it will be Dombrowski who has final say over all player moves, including trades and free agent signings.

So, save the title and the bump in salary, Hazen will remain second in command, not unlike the past four seasons when he served as assistant general manager under erstwhile boss Ben Cherington.

“Obviously, the role of general manager will be a little different here with Dave,” Hazen said in an introductory press conference at Fenway Park. “Dave is going to be making the decisions in the end.

“I believe that things we’ve done here underneath the hood with the major league team and player development and amateur scouting and international scouting and all those other things, we’ll continue to drive that forward and help put Dave in the best position possible to make the best decision possible for the Red Sox.”

Hazen, 39, has worked for the Red Sox for 10 years, serving as farm director before moving into the assistant GM role. He is a native of nearby Abington, Mass., and lives in Westwood, Mass., continuing a tradition in which the last six Red Sox GMs were New Englanders.

Dombrowski said he made a list of 30 candidates but interviewed only one other, Houston Astros farm director Quinton McCracken. By staying in house with Hazen, Dombrowski likely prevented a mass exodus from the Sox’s baseball operations department. He also sent a message that he values continuity in the organization.

According to Dombrowski, Hazen will be authorized to have high-level conversations with other teams and agents in regards to trades and free agents. Ultimately, though, the final decisions will be made by Dombrowski.

“It’s great to be part of an organization where there’s so many good people involved,” Dombrowski said before the Red Sox’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. “I’ve been in a spot to get to know people over this time period, and it’s a very fortunate situation that you can walk into a spot where you can keep continuity with good people involved. You add a tweak here and a tweak there when you’re in my spot, but having the same people onboard is very helpful.

“Now, you want them to be good people and quality people or you wouldn’t keep the continuity, but I think that exists in the organization, and it’s a very fortunate situation that we have.”

Hazen has long been considered a GM-in-waiting. He interviewed with the San Diego Padres last year before they hired A.J. Preller, and he met with the Los Angeles Angels last week about their GM vacancy.

The hiring of Hazen also adds another branch to the GM tree of former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Hazen becomes the fifth Epstein hire to become a GM, joining Jed Hoyer (Padres, Cubs), Josh Byrnes (Diamondbacks, Padres), Jerry DiPoto (Angels) and Cherington (Red Sox).

“I’m probably not sitting up here if it wasn’t for (Cherington),” said Hazen, a nod to his former boss, who stepped down Aug. 17 after Dombrowski was hired. “He’s the person over the last 10 years that I’ve worked closest with. But I’m excited as we move forward in a new direction with Dave.

“Even in the first month so far, I feel like there’s been a good connection between Dave and I, between what I think we’ve done well here and knowing things we need to improve upon and look forward. Dave’s experience is tremendous. We’ve seen that already, and I look forward to working with him and our operations staff in leading the Red Sox back to the World Series.”

Sports Xchange

BOSTON — Mike Hazen’s new job? Not much different from his old job. Hazen was promoted Thursday to become the 15th general manager in Red Sox history. However, it was made clear, both by Hazen and new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, that it will be Dombrowski who has final say over all player […]

Custom Fields

By line The Sports Xchange
Priority
Topic:
SCX file MLB9.25.2015.0.36.40.xml
sidebar...