New Red Sox GM Mike Hazen joined MLB Network Radio (Twitter link) to talk about a wide range of topics, including the divvying up of responsibilities in the revamped front office. Hazen explained that he’ll be more based in the office while senior VP Frank Wren will have a heavier hand in the evaluation of players. Unsurprisingly, he says (link) that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will be making the “final decision” on all personnel matters.
Here’s more from the AL East..
- Hazen (link) says that the Red Sox are tentatively planning to look at Hanley Ramirez as a first baseman in spring training. Ramirez was recently shut down for the year with a shoulder injury. He hit just .249/.291/.426 at the plate while advanced metrics labeled him as a weak defender.
- This offseason, Dombrowski will have to figure out what he’ll do with is trio of major league-caliber catchers, Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal writes. Boston could use one of its backstops in a package to land a frontline starting pitcher, but Christian Vazquez’s health might throw that plan into flux. In order to trade Blake Swihart, the Red Sox would have to have confidence in Vazquez’s recovery from surgery, but his situation could still be murky come December or January.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times took a position-by-position look at how the Rays look heading into 2016. At first base, the Rays have James Loney signed at an $8MM salary, but Topkin wonders if they might be better off trading him, even if they have to eat some of his contract. Tampa Bay, he writes, could give themselves additional flexibility while opening a spot for Richie Shaffer, who would need to be paired with a lefty hitter.
- Rich Hill has been excellent this month for the Red Sox and he could be carving out a spot for himself in the rotation in 2016, as Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe writes. However, the 35-year-old says that he’s not thinking that far ahead. “I don’t want to even go there, really,” he said. “Just really kind of focus in on tomorrow and get ready for that next start. You want to get to the finish line and worry about [next year] when it comes around.” Hill, who previously owned a 4.72 ERA over parts of ten big league seasons, has a 1.17 ERA over three starts with 30 strikeouts and just two walks.