The Red Sox have filled their general manager vacancy from within, as the team announced today that assistant GM Mike Hazen will be promoted to the role of general manager to replace the departed Ben Cherington. Hazen, of course, will report to recently hired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
In his previous role as senior vice president/assistant GM, Hazen assisted Ben Cherington (who resigned upon Dombrowski’s hiring) in player acquisitions, player evaluation, contract negotiations, major league, and pro scouting, per the Red Sox. His time with the Red Sox dates back to the 2006 season when he was hired as the team’s director of player development. Before his time with the Sox, Hazen spent five years working in the Indians’ front office, focusing on player development and scouting. The Princeton grad played four years of college ball and was a 31st-round draft pick of the Padres in 1998. He played two minor league seasons before joining Cleveland’s scouting department.
“Over his 10 years with the Red Sox, Mike has proven to be an invaluable member of the baseball operations department,” said Dombrowski in a press release announcing the move. “We are thrilled to have him in this position and I’m excited to have him working with me on every aspect of baseball operations.” Executive vice president/COO Sam Kennedy calls this a “great day” for the Red Sox organization, adding: “Mike’s leadership, work ethic, and passion for the game are second to none. His experience, combined with his local roots, make him the perfect choice to work alongside Dave as we head into 2016.”
The 39-year-old Hazen was one of many rumored candidates for the GM vacancy in Boston. Former Braves GM Frank Wren and former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd both were mentioned as possibilities, with Wren believed at one point to be a particularly strong possibility. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman recently reported, though, that it’s possible Wren could be hired to serve in a non-GM capacity. Boston is said to have recently interviewed Astros director of player development Quinton McCracken, and other names mentioned in the search included Yankees AGM Billy Eppler, D-Backs vice president De Jon Watson and former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, who is currently working with the Sox in an advisory capacity. It’s unclear how, or if, the hiring of Hazen will impact Dipoto’s role with the club.
One would imagine that the hiring of Hazen bodes well for Boston’s chances at retaining a large number of the executives currently within the front office. It makes sense that Hazen, who comes with a good deal of front office experience and an obvious in-depth familiarity with the Sox’ farm system, would be selected to pair with Dombrowski atop Boston’s baseball operations pyramid.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the promotion (via Twitter).