The Red Sox’ stunning announcement that Dave Dombrowski will take over as president of baseball operations is still sinking in for many, but further changes figure to be on the way in Boston. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Press spoke to Dombrowski and tweets that the new Boston president believes he will hire a GM to work underneath him (Twitter link). Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports tweets that former Braves GM Frank Wren, who worked with Dombrowski in the Marlins and Expos front offices in the 1980s and 1990s, is a leading candidate for the position.
Wren’s more traditional background of scouting would seemingly align well with Dombrowski’s strengths, as opposed to a more analytical GM like Ben Cherington, who passed on the opportunity to remain on board as the Red Sox’ GM following the addition of Dombrowski. There’s been speculation about Jerry Dipoto, who is working with the Sox on a temporary basis at the moment, but he, too, has a more analytical slant and wasn’t hired by Dombrowski.
Wren was fired by the Braves last September, with John Hart taking over as president of baseball operations. (Notably, the Braves serve as an example of a team that elected to deploy a president but no GM, as they currently do not have one in place.) The 57-year-old Wren’s front office experience dates back to the mid-1980s, and he’s worked with the Orioles in addition to the previously mentioned Expos, Marlins and Braves.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets that he finds it difficult to imagine any team owned by John Henry would completely abandon analytics, noting that there will have to be a balance in place. One can imagine that even in the event of a more traditional hire in the GM department, Dombrowski may bring in some new analysts or, at the very least, make an effort to retain some of Cherington’s more analytically inclined lieutenants. Of course, many that previously worked underneath Cherington may elect to seek employment elsewhere as well.