Red Sox

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa remaining with Red Sox

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa remaining with Red Sox

The Red Sox aren't fully cleaning house of Dave Dombrowski's top lieutenants -- Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has agreed to remain with the organization, per an industry source. 

La Russa arrived as a special assistant to Dombrowski, but he ingratiated himself to the entire baseball operations department. A constant presence at Fenway Park and a frequent observer on the road, La Russa served not only as a sounding board for manager Alex Cora, but anyone in the organization who wanted to draw on his 56 years of big league experience.

 A three-time World Series champion and four-time Manager of the Year, the 74-year-old La Russa made an effort to get to know even lower-tenured members of the front office, often over dinner. He didn't push his views so much as make himself available, earning respect throughout the organization for both his demeanor and his insight.

The news on La Russa comes one day after the Red Sox parted ways with Frank Wren, one of Dombrowski's top assistants, and a former general manager of the Braves.

The news that the Red Sox were in talks to keep La Russa was first reported by the MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

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Andrew Friedman announces he's staying with Dodgers, taking biggest name off board for Red Sox

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USA Today Sports Images

Andrew Friedman announces he's staying with Dodgers, taking biggest name off board for Red Sox

The Red Sox can cross the biggest name off their GM search before he was ever even an option.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman announced on Monday that he will finalize a deal to stay in L.A. "in the next couple of days." Friedman had technically become a free agent after the Dodgers' season ending in shocking fashion against the Nationals last week.

His five-year, $35 million contract expired, but the Dodgers moved quickly to lock up the 43-year-old, who has built consistent winners in both Tampa and Los Angeles and was considered the most intriguing candidate for the job of running the Red Sox, which opened up when the team parted ways with Dave Dombrowski in September.

With Friedman off the board and the Twins reportedly nearing a deal to extend Lynn native Derek Falvey as their chief baseball officer, the Red Sox have seen the candidate pool for their opening diminish before their search even starts. Before the season ended, the Diamondbacks took another name out of play by extending GM Mike Hazen, a Massachusetts native and former Red Sox executive. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein also declared his commitment to Chicago, though his contractual status hasn't changed.

One name that hasn't been taken off the board is Chaim Bloom, Tampa's VP of baseball operations. The 36-year-old Yale graduate oversees Tampa's baseball operations alongside Erik Neander, and the two guided the Rays to a wild card before taking the Astros to Game 5 of the ALDS.

Widely considered one of the most innovative franchises in the game, the Rays have reached 90 wins in two straight seasons despite fielding one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

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MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 5 designated hitters

MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 5 designated hitters

One of the biggest question marks of the Red Sox' offseason is the future of J.D. Martinez. Will he or won't he opt out of his contract and test the free-agent waters yet again?

If he does, Boston is put into a tough position. There aren't a whole lot of guys out there -- if any -- who can step right into Martinez's DH slot and put up numbers anything close to the 2018 World Series champion's level of production.

If Martinez indeed decides to sign elsewhere (the White Sox, perhaps?), the Sox could be left scrambling for a cheap short-term replacement off the open market. Here's a look at the top options this winter: