Red Sox

Red Sox

NEW YORK -- Dave Dombrowski's sudden departure from the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, coming just three days after the Red Sox confirmed that Larry Lucchino would be leaving his post as president and CEO of the Sox at season's end, creates what appears to be a perfect match.

After all, Dombrowski worked for Red Sox principal owner John Henry from 1999 through 2001 when Henry owned the Florida Marlins and Dombrowski was the team's GM. And it's well known within the industry that Dombrowski is in search of a position where he could serve as president, a position he held in Detroit.

Still, it would appear that the Dombrowski-to-Boston speculation, while making some sense, is likely to remain just that.

An industry source indicated Tuesday that while the Red Sox would have some interest in talking with Dombrowski, it's likely that Dombrowski is heading elsewhere -- probably Toronto.

The following are all strikes against Dombrowski:

1) Timing

While Dombrowski and Detroit owner Mike Illitch worked on a mutually-agreeable release from Dombrowski's deal, the sense is that Dombrowski will land somewhere quickly.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox are expected to take some time before deciding how they want to re-structure their upper management tier in the wake of Lucchino's retirement.

According to one baseball source, the Red Sox have yet to arrive at a definitive plan. While appointing someone to oversee the Baseball Operations department is one plan, it's not the only run being discussed.

 

If the Sox haven't settled on something concrete, they aren't about to hurry their decision to get in on the bidding for Dombrowski.

2) Money

Dombrowski was one of the highest-paid executives in the game in Detroit, with an annual salary estimated at $3 million. It's likely that he'll be seeking a boost that figure with a new position.

While Lucchino was also well-compensated, he had almost 25 years experience as a baseball executive when he joined the Red Sox in 2002 and made the club a lot of revenue in the last 13 years. It's doubtful the Red Sox would be eager to pay someone from outside the organization as much if not more than Lucchino was making.

3) Philosophy

While Dombrowski indeed once served as Henry's GM, the game has changed a great deal in that span.

Henry is a devotee of the advanced metrics that the Red Sox have followed since Theo Epstein took over as general manager in 2003. The Sox also employ a lot of scouts and aren't afraid to rely on more traditional methods of talent evaluation, but they clearly value the advanced metrics approach and welcome new, cutting-edge tools to evaluate players.

Dombrowski, though highly successful, is seen more of an ''old school'' executive and might not be a good fit with the current front office -- or the methods favored by the owner.

4) Opportunities

While the Red Sox job would likely have some allure for Dombrowski, there are no shortage of other positions that could tempt him. 

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in the market for a new general manager after Jerry DiPoto lost a power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia last month.

Bill Stoneman is filling the post for the remainder of the year. And precisely because Dombrowski is more of a traditionalist, owner Arte Moreno wouldn't have to worry about Dombrowski's compatibility with Scioscia, who openly bristled at DiPoto's reliance on analytics.

But the most attractive job for Dombrowski might be Toronto, where Paul Beeston is finishing out a long tenure in the position of club president.

The Blue Jays have the backing of Rogers Communications, Canada's biggest media company, with the potential for nearly unlimited payroll expenditure. And because the Blue Jays operate in their nation's biggest city and media market, the thinking in the industry is that the Jays are something of a sleeping giant when it comes to financial strength.

Furthermore, in Toronto, Dombrowski could become club president; in Boston, he could become president of baseball operations, but the Red Sox have already said that Sam Kennedy will replace Lucchino as team president.