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.
So now Dave Dombrowski is back with John Henry, but this time he actually has money. I speculated on that when we heard about him leaving Detroit. As a Marlins fan, I’m slightly annoyed for some reason, but as a Red Sox fan, I’m pretty excited. I find it funny though that rumors say that Frank Wren is going to end up the GM. Guess they’re getting the band back together lol…I would prefer to see a more analytical guy in that role under Dave though. I like the blend that would give the organization
I would assume that Dombrowski is going to make use of the farm system. I personally agreed with Cherington’s approach, in terms of not moving certain guys, but at some point, I think you need to address the Major League roster. I think the Red Sox have probably identified some core pieces this year, so it probably will be easier to figure some of that stuff out. Pitching is obviously the number 1 priority, both in the rotation and the bullpen
as a braves fan, i am obligated to say: “Screw Frank Wren.” as a human being i have to say: “poor,poor red sox.”
very well stated
Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami, Dan Uggla (extension), BJ Upton, Chris Johnson (extension) — traded Teixeira (and compensation picks he represented) to LAA for Casey Kotchman/Stephen Marek. He did all that on a $95 million team. Imagine the damage he could do with Henry’s checkbook. Wren as BOS GM would be a giant win for MLBPA and mediocre players getting paid everywhere. Doug Fister will get a $90 million contract offer from Wren.
His signings/extensions were Wrens downfall. He made good trades. Justin Upton, Bourn & Vasquez come to mind.
Wren wouldn’t have lasted nearly as long in ATL if he had not made some very good trades. He had a knack for giving up little and getting a lot. Even trades for Uggla, McLouth (Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton) worked out well for some time, then they didn’t. Wren (and/or scouts) were also good at identifying good buy-low candidates that were released and giving them another chance (i.e. O’Flaherty, David Carpenter, Javier Vazquez, Ben Sheets, Aaron Harang, etc.) That wasn’t where he did himself in, it was the amount of bad signings on a mid-market team. Interesting to see what he could do in BOS, where he can have more misses (if the fan’s let him).
His trade for Dan Uggla did work. The extension didn’t. He traded a 2 win utility player and a lefty reliever with control problems for a power hitting 2nd baseman who was a 4.6 WAR player the year before. Everyone knew the extension was one year too long, but that was the price it took to lock up the best offensive second baseman in baseball at the time. If he had walked in free agency, everyone would have just bitched about the Braves not being able to sign free agents. double edged sword. Should have worked. He tanker harder and more quickly than anyone could have anticipated.
I’m not really sure I’d consider the Uggla trade a “did work.” – All things considered. Even if the extension was the major problem, we wouldn’t have had to worry about that if he hadn’t of made the trade.
I think a big part of Wren’s problems were those who he gambled on tanked, and tanked hard.
Upton JR, Lowe, Kanpitch Kawakami & Uggla come to mind the fastest.
Lowe and Kawakami were bad, but if you remember, the only starter decent starter the Braves had make it through the previous year healthy was Jair Jurrjens. Couldn’t compete in CC bidding, got outbid again by the pinstripes for Burnett, Lowe was the next best option. And he was getting serious offers for 3 year/$35MMish deals from others. Had to go the extra mile. I hated the signing too, but I understood it.
The Uggla extension I explained below. BJ Upton might have been a slight overpay, but with his age and skillset, plus potential bidding competition and absolutely no CF candidates, it again was justifiable. But once again, tanked harder and faster than anyone could have anticipated.
You can’t defend the Chris Johnson move. If he had remained the Chris Johnson of old (.280/.310/.420), it wouldn’t have been TERRIBLE, but there was no reason to not go year to year with him. Also can’t defend the Tex trade. Was so stupid.
And I disagree. The reason middle tier free agents got signed by Wren was because Liberty Media doesn’t open the checkbook as much as Ted Turner and Stan Kasten did. They had to bid on mid tier free agents and often got burned on it. If Wren has the money to make competitive offers to top tier FA, less likely to get completely burned.
Wren tried to operate w/ big signings when he wasn’t a big checkbook team. There is no reason to give Upton JR that much money switching to a new team/league. We would have been better off with a AAA promotion (statistically & financially) and it ended up costing the Braves Kimbrel.
Maybe w/ someone signing off on his moves he’d be ok, but I still wouldn’t trust Wren w/ anything more than donut fetcher duties. I’m not even sure he’s competent enough to get coffee.
He’d be great at trading old out-dated coffee for new coffee though.
No. Just no to Frank Wren. With the Red Sox’ cash, he’d make Larry Lucchino’s FA blunders look like chump change. What’s next, is Dusty Baker going to replace John Farrell as manager?
Who’s the Albert Belle Wren would sign to an unconscionable contract?
Dombrowski has gone from one of the most respected minds in baseball to someone I have serious doubts about simply by mentioning Frank Wren as a candidate for the GM position.. I am not sure that I would trust Wren to park cars for a hotel let alone ever run a baseball team again..
The whole thing is a little odd. The Red Sox have a WS and the most touted farm system in baseball during Cherington’s run. Dial this back fifteen years and ask a Red Sox fan would he take that and he’d be screaming “yes” at the top of his lungs. Times change
Wren…? As nauseum… Baseball’s confusing need to perpetually recycle horse bleep.
If someone over sees all of Wrens free agent moves, it might work. Majority of Wrens poor moves were extensions/signings. His trades were, for the most part, very good. No one is perfect. Justin Upton trade, Vazquez & Bourn come to mind.
How long until the Red Sox acquire Justin Verlander for Yoan Moncada and Rick Porcello?
Sorry red Sox fans if wren is hired you can say bye bye to your awesome farm systen
If wren is hired Rex Soxs can say bye bye to their awesome farm system
Please, not Wren. Not a good track record down the stretch with Atlanta