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.