In the wake of Mike Hazen’s departure, the Red Sox are likely to hire a new general manager to work under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Hazen’s successor could come from within, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who reports that Red Sox senior vice president of baseball operations Frank Wren is in the lead to take over as GM. Another member of Boston’s front office, pro scouting director Gus Quattlebaum, is also a potential option, per Rob Bradford of WEEI (Twitter link).
The 58-year-old Wren has extensive experience as an executive, including runs as the GM in Baltimore and Atlanta. Both stints ended in firings for Wren, whose tenure atop the Braves (2007-14) was much longer than his reign with the Orioles (1998-99). In Wren’s seven seasons as the Braves’ GM, the club finished over .500 five times and earned three playoff berths. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, closer Craig Kimbrel, catcher Evan Gattis and left-hander Alex Wood were among the players the Braves drafted under Wren, who later inked Simmons, Kimbrel, first baseman Freddie Freeman and starter Julio Teheran to extensions that have worked out well (of that group, only Freeman and Teheran remain in Atlanta).
Wren’s time as the Braves’ boss certainly had blemishes, including allocating significant money to outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. (five years, $75.25MM), second baseman Dan Uggla (five years, $62MM) and third baseman Chris Johnson (three years, $23MM). Their inability to live up to those deals contributed to Wren’s firing. In 2014, Wren’s final season in Atlanta, the offensively challenged Braves stumbled to a 27-40 second half after going 52-43 before the All-Star break.
While his resume is imperfect, Wren has experience and a long-standing relationship with Dombrowski working in his favor. Wren was previously with Dombrowski in two other cities – Montreal and Miami – and is now Dombrowski’s “right-hand man,” as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote in July.
Whether it’s Wren, Quattlebaum or another candidate, it seems Boston’s next GM will have a difficult act to follow. Hazen’s exit to Arizona makes this a “sad day” for the Red Sox because of both his contributions to the organization and his likability, a source told Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). Moreover, Peter Gammons spoke with a high-ranking Red Sox official who favorably compared Hazen to former Boston GM and current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein (via Twitter).