The Diamondbacks announced that executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen is taking a “physical leave of absence” from the team. Assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye will take over day-to-day baseball operations, with Hazen consulting regularly.
Sawdaye has been one of Hazen’s primary lieutenants throughout the duration of their tenures in Arizona. The pair worked together in the Red Sox front office, and Sawdaye followed Hazen to the desert less than two weeks after the latter was hired as Diamondbacks general manager. Sawdaye has long been viewed as a potential future GM, and he was among the finalists for the Angels job that went to Perry Minasian last winter.
Hazen’s wife Nicole has been battling brain cancer, notes Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Hazen told reporters (including Bob Nightengale of USA Today) he didn’t feel he could devote the time required to lead the team’s trade deadline and draft preparation while attending to his family responsibilities. MLBTR sends our best wishes to the Hazen family.