Red Sox

Dombrowski: 'You're always on the same page with your ownership'

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Dombrowski: 'You're always on the same page with your ownership'

BOSTON -- Almost two full years into his tenure as the Red Sox' top baseball executive, Dave Dombrowski has done what he was brought here to do: Turn the Red Sox around.

His trades have been net positives to this point, and his best move will likely go down as the deal for the expected 2017 American League Cy Young winner, Chris Sale.

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"I have no feeling one way or the other on it," Dombrowski said of his nickname ‘Dealer Dave.’ "It's been used for such a long time period. It makes no difference to me."

As Dombrowski sees it, the farm system is starting to regrow. The Sox president of baseball operations noted that new talent has come "behind the scenes" at the lower levels.

"Really, starting to build that back-end where they can continue to grow, that, if some of these players here at the major-league level a few years down the road decide to go free agency, or you end up contemplating making trades, I think you’re in a spot where right now you’re starting to get more of those players back within the system," Dombrowski said on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast. "This past year, once we got through the winter meetings -- and of course we made the big trades, and traded a lot of players -- I thought at that point we had pretty much done what we needed from a big perspective.

"And I think what’s incumbent upon you, if you’re doing things the way you want to in charge of the baseball operations -- and again, sometimes you have to make adjustments because ownership’s at a different spot -- you’re not only worried about winning now, we want to win a world championship right now, but you are looking into the future."

The day of the trade deadline, Dombrowski noted there were some players “we chose not to trade, really is what it came down to.” He’s been talking this way for a while.

Per a report from Boston Sports Journal last week, Dombrowski was told by his bosses not to deal the organization’s top prospects. Dombrowski denied the event occurred, but the report noted a most plausible reality: There was no philosophical tension between Dombrowski and his bosses.

The topic leads to a broader question of control in the Red Sox organization, one that was prevalent in the Theo Epstein-Larry Lucchino years.

Think back to some words from Ben Cherington in early August 2015, shortly before he left the organization, and right when Larry Lucchino did.

“Everybody has got a boss,” Cherington said. “Unless you're the owner, everybody has got a boss.”

That never really changes. The concept of autonomy is far-fetched. Execs never act alone when it comes to big choices.

It's certainly possible Dombrowski doesn’t have to jump through as many hoops as Cherington did. No one’s going to overrule Dombrowski if he says, "Hey, we like Eduardo Nunez more than Jed Lowrie." But Dombrowski himself noted ownership’s involvement in the decision to cut Pablo Sandoval -- and that should be how it works. Sox president and newly named CEO Sam Kennedy runs the organization’s overall budget and is in constant communication with Dombrowski.

"I think I’ve probably have had as autonomous a career you can have as a general manager, president of baseball operations, whatever your title may be," Dombrowski said. “But I think you’re always on the same page with your ownership. You need to be . . . If we were making an option of a player [to send him to the minors], I would not call [ownership] and consult with them, that’s a day-to-day operation. But if you are making a big acquisition for your club or even from philosophical perspective, what you’re going to try to attempt, you always try to keep them in the loop. They own the team. They’re interested. They entrust you to do your job, but you do keep them informed of what’s taking place. I would never make a big move, and never [have] through out my career [without keeping ownership informed] -- and I’d say probably I don't think there’s a general manager in the game that would make a big move that would be in a position where your ownership wouldn’t be aware it was taking place.”

Dombrowski said he always sits down with ownership heading into the trade deadline to say how he sees the club improving.

“I’ve done that for 30 years. And for us [this year], we needed improvement at third base, we needed a little bit of an offense improvement, thinking about a bullpen arm -- great,” Dombrowski said. “And they know what’s taking place. Now, I would not and call them up and say -- and never have, really -- and say, ‘Well, and now Eduardo Nunez is the guy we’re thinking over x player, y player.’ They let you make that decision because that’s your job.

“But before we would announce Eduardo Nunez, I would always send them a note. So I think you just need to keep them in the loop. But as long as you’ve got your marching orders, you understand what they are, our guys let you make those types of baseball decisions on who you end up acquiring. But I think it’s incumbent upon you to make sure that they’re aware of what you’re thinking, and that’s part of your job as an employee. Even again, even though I’ve got a job that has a lot of autonomy attached and a lot of responsibility, I think that’s a responsibility of yourself, to make sure that your ownership knows what ’s going on.”

And would they ever say, ‘No, I don’t like this?’

“Yeah, maybe they would say they don’t like your plan,” Dombrowski said. “I don’t know that I've ever had that happen. But to bring you back . . . when it comes to big-dollar decisions, if you’re adding big dollars or signing a player to a long-term contract, you always get ownership involved in those type of decisions. They need to have input into those type of things.

“A couple years ago when I was with the Tigers, and we ended up really at the trading deadline making a move to trade some players which ended up being some big moves -- David Price, Joakim Soria, Yoenis Cespedes," he said. "At that point, well, I wouldn’t do that on my own without bringing them into play and saying, ‘This is where we are, this is where it goes, this is some of the impact,’ and then I'm given the blessing.’”

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Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday. 

 

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.