The Red Sox dropped a stunner on the baseball world yesterday when they announced the hiring of veteran executive Dave Dombrowski as the team’s president of baseball operations. Ben Cherington is said to have declined the chance to stay on in the GM role, preferring instead to look for a new opportunity elsewhere.
Here are some of the many reactions to the move:
- The deal with the Red Sox will give Dombrowski a raise over the $3MM annual salary he was earning in Detroit, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. The Nationals also had interest in Dombrowski, though they never made him an offer, Nightengale adds. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays had more serious conversations, and their involvement pushed the Red Sox to giving Dombrowski full decisionmaking authority, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Mariners were “next in line,” though, had Boston not pulled off a deal, Nightengale further tweets.
- Parting with Cherington is just one of the surprising angles of this move. As Nightengale reports, Dombrowski explained that he offered Cherington the chance to stay but understood why he did not. “We offered Ben the opportunity to stay as GM,” said Dombrowski. “I had a lengthy conversation. He could have stayed. We like Ben. He’s a good person. I don’t know him very well, but I have the utmost respect for him and as a person. But I could understand it. It hit him very quickly. He was surprised. As president of baseball operations, you have control over making deals, and the final say in hiring. I understand it would be a transition with him.”
- It may be a bit too soon to evaluate Cherington’s own legacy as the Red Sox GM, but as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald writes, it’s already clear that it is a somewhat complicated one. While he won a World Series and leaves the club with a well-stocked farm, Cherington was not able to develop a stream of pitching and whiffed on several significant decisions.
- Bringing in Dombrowski represents a significant philosophical shift for the Red Sox, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. While it’s hard to see the organization suddenly shelving its analytics work, Heyman notes that they’ll get a hands-on executive in Dombrowski with a penchant for swinging quality trades and keeping a winner on the field.
- Indeed, the scope of the shift is somewhat hard to overstate. Red Sox “vaporized the way they’ve done business for the last 13 years” overnight, writes John Tomase of WEEI.com. And as Sean McAdam of CSSNE.com explains, it completes a month of change at many key levels of the organization.
- Dombrowski has a history of dealing away top prospects to bolster his clubs at the major league level, Ben Badler of Baseball America notes on Twitter. Now, he’s in charge of a Boston organization flush with young talent, and Badler rightly notes that it’ll be a fascinating offseason to watch.
I’m not sure how I feel about the DD/Wren combo. On one hand I am inclined towards analytical team building. On the other hand 3 last place finishes screams a shake up was needed. Either way Good Luck DD. Here is my wish list!
1. Let Rusney, JBJ, and Betts be the primary OF next year.
2. Keep De Aza and acquire a right handed OF platoon mate.
3. Move Hanley to 1B or 3B and if neither works trade him.
4. Trade Sandoval
5. Don’t trade Mookie or Xander.
6. Figure out which young C to keep which to trade.
7. Acquire a top 3 SP to solidify rotation.
I completely agree with most of what you said, but I wouldn’t deal either Vazquez or Swihart. Two cost-controlled, potentially great catchers is a commodity not found elsewhere. Also, Hanley can’t handle 3B, a significantly harder position than LF at Fenway. 1B or trade (preferably trade but that’ll be tough).
Neither will be great if they don’t get a chance to be a full time starter. Platoon catchers are not ever going to viewed as great. Sometimes you have to make tough choices in life.
Hard to trade a player when they haven’t played in a full season, like Vazquez and that would mean Swihart in the catching scenario, probably the best of the 2.
De Aza just made 5m, doubt he’s going to be interested in coming back for half that amount. Sox more than likely will be spending pretty heavy and really don’t think he puts up close to the numbers again.
OF for the 2016 season, barring trade on the roster would be Bradley, Betts, Castillo, can use Shaw in LF in a pinch, Holt in any of the spots in a pinch.
Agree on moving especially Sandoval. Odd where all those people scurried off to that were yelling for Boston to sign that tub last fall huh? Think there were some of us that could just look at numbers and his body and see “this ain’t pretty”…
Who has a bad enough contract, outside of BJ Upton and those 2 Atlanta just swallowed from Cleveland (Bourn, Swish) to take on in exchange?
Hey.. I’m all for Cueto.. Forget Price tho.
Were people really yelling for Boston to sign Sandoval?
Their top of the rotation, 1 or 2, cost controlled arm was there for the taking/grabbing but they let him go to Texas in Hamels because they were to scared to give up one of two catchers. Now DD gets to overpay for an ace via free agency while Sox fans can decide which catcher he can throw to.
If Rusney, JBJ, and Mookie are to be the primary OF next year, why would you need a platoon mate for De Aza? You don’t need to platoon bench guys. Also it takes two to tango when it comes to trades. You can’t just say let’s trade our two overpaid veterans. You probably won’t have a foolish team like the Dodgers bail you guys out again.
I wouldn’t say Cherrington failed to develop pitching, after all, he was only GM for 3y, not including when Epstein was in charge and yes… Cherrington was his lieutenant and had say, but it was Epstein’s baby..
Cherrington is responsible for 2014 fireballer Michael Kopech,17YO 2014 IFA FA fireballer and dominating the GCL Anderson Espinoza. He took a back end SP at the end of round one in 2012, Brian Johnson who has made his debut this season, though his next games are in doubt with the dreaded “pitching elbow tightness”.
The only one it could be said might be bad, is Ball from 2013. N0 7 overall picks become busts. 1st overall picks do as well. Cherrington drafted well IMO, as good as possible within the confines of this useless new CBA.
The same pool of players is available to the same amount of teams. The CBA is not an excuse to draft poorly.
I made the point that other than with *maybe* Ball, which it’s only been 1 and a half years on, he hasn’t drafted poorly also.
Buttery SP, doing fine.
Espinoza SP Doing outstanding
Kopech SP, hopefully will be fine
Johnson SP Should be the back end starter they drafted him as
Josh Pennington, a 19YOTJ project from 2014 is doing pretty nifty this year at the GCL from rd 29
All the guys they drafted up high, pitcher wise ex. for Espinoza, last year’s IFA bonus kid, then throw in 2013 2nd rd Ted Stankiewiez, who some see as a back end SP, I see him as a long reliever at the MLB level.
The question was pitching he had drafted during his tenure in the article, not hitters, tho he has done fine there developing also.. IFA Rafael Devers, 1st rd pick Chavis, 2014 2nd rd Sam Travis 2014. Longhi, 500k 30th round bonus kid from 2013
Early to talk about this years, but looks on surface as if it was a fine draft. Multiple power pitchers, several decent looking hitters (have traveled down to Fort Myers and watched a weekend series). Some of these kids look pretty good, especially Espinoza, Kyri Washington (23 rd 2015) and Josh Pennington IMO from what saw that series.
Cherrington may not be the best overall GM, but he knows how to build talent (amateur) and the Sox farm system rankings, across multiple different sites show that, new and old systems.
I never had much love for Cherington, but I’m not sure how much I’d blame him for the way things have gone the past two years either. The real problem with him has been that he pretty much struck out on every single starting pitcher and much of the bullpen.
The two trades that killed me are the Lackey for Craig/Kelly and Cespedes for Porcello. Hindsight is 20/20 and it would have been pretty hard to predict how badly they both would have gone, but two cases where dealing from a position of strength backfired in just about the worst way possible.
His departure has more to do with Larry’s than anything else, but I don’t imagine he’ll be missed much.
I think Cherington was going for a grand-slam on all his pitching acquisitions over the offseason. He thought he saw arms on the rise, he thought he would scoop them up, and he would have made a younger rotation, along with the talent in the farm. Porcello is a disaster–but would we be having this conversation if he had an the same level of performance he had in 2014 in Detroit? Locking up a 26 year old 4 WAR starter is pretty smart. BTW, am I talking to Revmurph?
Yes I am RevMurph.
We would probably not be having this conversation if Porcello wasn’t terrible. Starting with Kelly at last year’s deadline, Cherington brought in four pitchers whose sustainability in the AL East came with serious doubts to couple with Buchholz, who of course has plenty of his own concerns.
The only one who performed to reasonable expectations was Miley and he certainly didn’t outperform either. I’d give that a pass since Webster and de la Rosa were busts, but the simple truth is that Cherington failed.
It’s not like he was fired either. Larry left and DD was he boss. I don’t think Cherington did anything to prove he was worthy of being President.
Vandals Took The Handles
Stand by what I wrote last night – have doubts about how much was Cherington and how much were others……
The guy didn’t particularly care for Bobby Valentine and was interviewing other candidates when the higher-ups let him know that Valentine was going to be the manager. And the recent book on the Dodgers shows that it was Stan Kasten that had been pushing for a trade to get Adrian Gonzalez for quite some time and was willing to take on other bad contracts, but the Red Sox held off through the 2012 trading deadline thinking they were still in the race. When they got on a losing streak after the deadline, Kashen met with Henry at an MLB meeting, and they agreed to the deal – the obstacle being how to sneak the 3 Red Sox players through waivers. These are 2 that I’m aware of. I can’t believe there weren’t others.
Maybe like Tito, Cherington will write a book.
I’ll reserve judgement until some results are seen. Not crazy about the move yet, but clearly something had to be done. Would have preferred to go young and hungry with an analytics mind for the president of baseball operations.
Dombrowski is one of the best baseball minds of this or any generation AND has the results to prove it. Young, hungry, and analytical doesn’t always mean good.
Analytics are an essential element of successful baseball, and successful teams have used them for 80 years despite the modern emphasis and technology. All that said, sometimes I do get the feeling we’re in the post-analytic era…a little like the new Ivy League guys are Candlebox to the Epstein/Beane Nirvana.
Cherington should have been fired as soon as he signed Sandoval.
I am thinking that Porcello back to Tigers makes sense for both sides. DD did not like him enough to sign him to a much smaller contract before he traded him. Porcello is a better fit in Comerica Park.
Boston will have to eat some money to get Detroit to take him back. Then Detroit can use it to help get Cespedes signed this winter.