Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke to MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey about the team’s loss of executives Mike Hazen and Amiel Sawdaye, who signed on the become the new general manager and senior vice president/assistant general manager of the D-backs, respectively, last week. Kennedy acknowledged that both are big losses to the organization but doesn’t feel that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s leadership style had anything to do with their exit from the organization. “I think the opportunities that have come up are a real credit to the Boston Red Sox,” Kennedy told McCaffrey. “The Arizona Diamondbacks had a need at general manager and the top baseball operations job was open and they contacted us right away because they know the Red Sox have talented folks.”
Kennedy went on to discuss the decision not to name a new GM, noting that the GM title and president of baseball ops title can be interchangeable, and the most important element is to have one person accountable for baseball operations, which for the Red Sox, is Dombrowski. As McCaffrey notes, both Hazen and Sawdaye were integral parts of the Sox’ player development efforts, with Sawdaye overseeing the 2011 draft that netted Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Blake Swihart, Matt Barnes, Travis Shaw and Henry Owens.
More on the BoSox…
- The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier revisits the Andrew Miller for Eduardo Rodriguez swap that the Red Sox made with the Orioles in July 2014. In light of Miller’s emergence as perhaps baseball’s best reliever and the fact that Rodriguez has yet to develop into a consistent rotation piece, Speier spoke to five rival talent evaluators about the deal, and each of them firmly voiced the opinion that it was still a good trade for then-GM Ben Cherington. Two used the term “no-brainer” to describe the Red Sox’ end of the deal, and each expressed confidence that Rodriguez can still be at least a third or fourth starter in the Majors. Speier also spoke to Red Sox special assistant Mark Wasinger, who in 2014 was a special assignment scout that contributed to the decision to target Rodriguez. Wasinger says improvements in Rodriguez’s command and to his breaking ball actually give him a higher ceiling now than when Boston initially acquired him. As Speier points out, the 23-year-old Rodriguez posted a 3.24 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in a vastly improved second half of the season.
- The improbable return of Kyle Schwarber to the Cubs’ World Series roster serves as motivation for his friend and former college teammate Sam Travis, writes WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. Travis, one of Boston’s more well-regarded prospects, suffered a torn ACL just a month and a half after Schwarber earlier this season, causing him to miss the majority of the year. Travis discussed with Bradford the excitement he feels for his friend as he pursues a World Series ring but also expressed confidence that he’ll be fully healthy and ready to compete for a Major League roster spot in Spring Training. Bradford points out that Travis had a huge Spring Training last year and now with David Ortiz’s retirement, an opening to split time with Hanley Ramirez at first base and DH could present itself. “That’s the stuff you dream about and the stuff you live for,” said Travis. “…It’s definitely a great opportunity coming up and I’m looking forward to take advantage of it.”