The Red Sox’ front office lost a big piece Sunday, as the Diamondbacks announced that longtime Sox executive Mike Hazen had been hired as vice president and general manager.
Hazen, 40, spent last season as Boston’s senior vice president and general manager under president of baseball operations David Dombrowski. Prior to that, he was the team’s assistant general manager for four seasons under Ben Cherington. A native of Abington, Hazen joined the Red Sox organization in 2006 as director of player development. He was named vice president of player development and amateur scouting in 2011 before becoming an assistant GM.
The Diamondbacks will become Hazen’s third organization as an executive, as he worked for the Indians for five seasons before joining the Red Sox.
“I’m extremely grateful for this incredible opportunity to help the D-backs reach the next level,” Hazen said in a press release. “This is a franchise that has experienced a lot of success both on and off the field in less than two decades of existence, and I’m looking forward to working with Ken and Derrick to help bring back a tradition of winning to Arizona.”
Said Arizona president and CEO Derrick Hall: “Mike’s background is the perfect balance of scouting, player development and analytics, which will all play an important role going forward. He’s a natural leader, who we feel fortunate to have been able to hire, and we welcome him and his family to Arizona.”
Hazen's replacement in Boston will be the Red Sox' third GM in as many seasons.
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.
MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt
“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.
MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.