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.”