Red Sox

Dombrowski: Red Sox will search internally for new GM

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Dombrowski: Red Sox will search internally for new GM

BOSTON -- The news of Mike Hazen leaving for the Diamondbacks came as a surprise to some, given Boston was bounced from the playoffs only a week ago, but Arizona’s had its eye on Hazen for a while.

The A.L. West’s fourth-place team reached out to Boston just before the playoffs started, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, but the Sox put that on hold until their playoff run ended. Which it did, very quickly.

Hazen was then allowed to go through the interview process, which ended quickly for him since Arizona had already interviewed other candidates . . . seven, in addition to Hazen, according to Dombrowski.

So not only did the Red Sox’ offseason come sooner than expected, but they have to get back to work sooner, too.

Dombrowski said he plans to fill Hazen’s role as soon as he can, he has a few other items -- both baseball and non-baseball -- to deal with over these next two weeks, so the process might be delayed.

He did express that he intends to look internally to start the process, but the candidate doesn’t necessarily have to be in the front office already.

“I don’t want to get into the specifics of who’d I’m going to consider; I guess I’d consider anybody that wanted to apply for the job.” Dombrowski said Monday on a conference call. “It’s a situation where I’m open to anything.”

Which brings a few names not into play outside of the front office: Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Jason Varitek.

Amaro was the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager before joining Boston’s coaching staff. And Varitek is technically in the front office, serving as one of Dombrowski’s special assistants, but his background is quite different from the normal candidate.

Another name -- although unlikely, given Dombrowski’s press conference after losing Game 3 of the ALDS -- is John Farrell, who served as the Indians’ director of player development for five years before coming Red Sox pitching coach in 2007.

Unlikely, but definitely a possibility given his background and that Terry Francona mentioned in the ALDS that he could see Farrell becoming a general manager someday.

Three internal candidates atop Dombrowski’s list to select would be the director of player development, Ben Crockett; senior vice president and assistant general manager Brian O’Halloran, and international scouting director Eddie Romero. This is assuming Hazen doesn’t take any of them to Arizona, of which he can with a limited number of Red Sox front-office members.

Crockett was the one internal member Dombrowski specifically mentioned in his Monday conference call. Although he didn’t state whether Crockett was a candidate or not, Dombrowski made mention how he reported “to [Hazen] directly and then they kept me in the loop.”

Dombrowski won't decide on these potential candidates, or anyone else, until he determines what he needs from the Red Sox new GM.

With Dombrowski making most of the deals and decisions on players, someone who has a better understanding of the organization’s prospects might be a more sufficient fit -- but he’ll need to figure that out first.

“It’s dependent upon the person that you hire and what their background is,” Dombrowski said. “It’s more important to get the right person into place that works for you as an organization.”

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Midway through the 2019 MLB season, the struggling Boston Red Sox made an attempt to shake things up on their bench and get them back into the playoff race. That decision involved designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment.

Nunez spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox after he was acquired at the 2017 MLB trade deadline. Nunez quickly endeared himself to Boston fans by batting .321 and smashing eight homers in 38 games with the team.

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But after his first season, Nunez's production tailed off. He was still productive during the team's 2018 World Series run, though he was hampered by a knee injury, before things bottomed out in 2019. He was hitting just .228 at the time of his release and his defensive range was declining because of his balky knee.

Now, after remaining out of MLB work for almost half a year, it looks like Nunez is getting one more shot at sticking around in the MLB.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the New York Mets have invited Nunez to join them as a non-roster invite at spring training in 2020. 

It may be tough for Nunez to ultimately win a spot with the Mets, who also have former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Jed Lowrie on the team. But he is going to be on a minor league deal as a result of this signing.

And if injuries strike and Nunez proves himself, perhaps he could eventually earn a roster spot.

We'll soon see what happens with Nunez, but it is nice to see the 32-year-old get another chance to play at the MLB level, even if it is just a spring training invite.

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Los Angeles Dodgers team president Stan Kasten, in his first public comments on the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked baseball, lamented that he still has many unanswered questions after Major League Baseball's punishment of the Houston Astros. 

Kasten noted that the investigation isn't over, with MLB continuing to look into the Red Sox' alleged sign-stealing using video - a system that Alex Cora reportedly brought to Boston as manager after serving as Astros bench coach.

"This investigation isn't over," Kasten said, via Evan Drellich of The Athletic, who along with colleague Ken Rosenthal broke the stories detailing the Astros' and Red Sox' schemes.  "I’d like to have answers to many questions about what happened, by whom and when."

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Kasten saw his Dodgers lose World Series in 2017 to Houston and 2018 to Boston, only to have those two championships called into question after MLB's report on the Astros' tactics led to the firing of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Cora also parted ways with the Red Sox amid the controversy and Carlos Beltran, a player on the '17 Astros involved in the scheme, was fired just months after being named manager of the New York Mets.  

Houston was also fined $5 million and docked draft picks. The Red Sox could face similar penalties.

Here are Kasten's full comments, via Drellich:

Earlier this week, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shot down suggestions that the World Series titles could be stripped from the Astros and Red Sox, a request made by, among others, the L.A. City Council. 

Speaking specifically about losing to the Astros in the 2017 Series, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday, questioned the legitimacy of Houston's title.  

"We know how hard it is to win a World Series," Turner said. "We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions."