Red Sox

Red Sox owners want a name with experience for their next GM; disagreement with Dombrowski dates to last fall

Red Sox owners want a name with experience for their next GM; disagreement with Dombrowski dates to last fall

BOSTON -- The next general manager of the Red Sox will come from outside the organization and have experience in the role, John Henry hopes.

The Red Sox owner laid out what he's looking for to take the organization forward in the wake of Dave Dombrowski's departure. He sounded unlikely, at least for now, to consider any of the four execs currently sharing GM responsibilities -- Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran, Zack Scott, and Raquel Ferreira.

That's in no small part because of the myriad challenges facing the franchise, from getting under the $208 million luxury-tax threshold, to dealing with the possible trade of reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts, to rebuilding the farm system.

"This is a tough job," Henry said. "This is a tough offseason, too. We talked about the challenges for the CBT [competitive balance tax], but I think we would all agree, there are a lot…this is a challenging offseason. So, to put one of the candidates you keep bringing up in charge and responsible for that, that's sort of a tough way to start your career as a general manager. So, we are starting the search looking outward."

Henry noted the difficulty of hiring GMs away from other franchises, but the Red Sox will be sure to inquire on a host of big-name candidates, whether it's Dodgers boss Andrew Friedman, Tampa's Chaim Bloom, or even Theo Epstein of the Cubs, who recently declared his allegiance to Chicago.

"We look at what some of the other teams are doing around the league," Werner said. "We want to be competitive with them in all facets."

As for the perception that the Red Sox lack stability, since they're about to hire their fourth baseball boss since 2011, Henry and Werner bristled.

"You know it's funny, I look at it as we've had three general managers since 2004, right? 2003, right?" Werner said. "I look at it as we've had three general managers in 17 years, right? So I don't look at that as -- not that we count but we have been successful bringing in a general manager from the outside and we've been successful by bringing in someone internally. But I consider, look, we all know Boston is an incredibly great sports town. It's also very demanding. We want to be excellent year in and year out. But I consider this position to be the most coveted or one of the most coveted in all of sports."

WHY DOMBROWSKI WAS FIRED
Henry talked about extending Dave Dombrowski the night the Red Sox won the World Series. He apparently had a change of heart by the time the Duck Boats started to roll.

It turns out the philosophical differences that led to Dombrowski's ouster predated the season.

"What changed quickly was right after the World Series, we had preliminary talks about our way forward and it was clear to me we weren't on the same page at that point," Henry said. "In fact, he and I talked about it that night, that Sunday evening, I think he disagreed with me about that, that we disagreed. We were even disagreeing, you might say, that we disagreed. There was a difference, I think, in how we thought we should move forward."

While Henry and Tom Werner went out of their way to praise Dombrowski's tenure, their issues weren't hard to discern: a bloated payroll that will hamstring the immediate future, and a lack of young talent coming through the minor league pipeline.

"One of the things that we talked about that I think is apparent is that we need to have more depth in our minor league system and more people coming up through the system that can be everyday baseball players," Henry said.

CORA STAYING PUT
One Red Sox employee who needn't worry about his job security is manager Alex Cora. Henry said the manager will return next year, no matter who takes over as GM.

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Xander Bogaerts offers thoughts on Mookie Betts returning to Red Sox in 2021

Xander Bogaerts offers thoughts on Mookie Betts returning to Red Sox in 2021

The Boston Red Sox made a decision that made a lot of fans unhappy in early February. The team decided to trade Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with David Price in exchange for a package of three prospects.

Betts, the MLB's MVP back in 2018, is one of the top five players in the league. He hit .295 with 29 homers last year as the Red Sox lead-off hitter, so parting with him obviously stings.

But could the Red Sox try to bring him back in free agency next offseason? It's possible, and it's something that Xander Bogaerts thinks the team could attempt to do.

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“Hey, you know... probably, maybe in a year,” Bogaerts said of potentially getting Betts back in 2021, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. “We’ll see how that goes. He knows what he means to us and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Of course, there's no guarantee that Betts will end up returning to Boston. He could opt to sign an extension with the Dodgers or he could simply sign with the team that offers him the most money. And given how far apart he and the Red Sox were in negotiations, Betts may simply be out of their preferred price range.

It's tough to prognosticate what will happen in a year. And Betts wasn't willing to give any context clues during his introductory press conference with the Dodgers.

But Bogaerts and the Sox will remain hopeful. And until then, Boston's shortstop had one message for his former teammate.

“Obviously, I wish him nothing but the best," Bogaerts said, per Cotillo. "One of the best teammates I’ve had. One of the best young players we had to wear the Red Sox uniform.

"He’s someone we’re going to miss a lot. It’s not easy to replace somebody like that on and off the field.”

Rob Manfred provides updated timeline for Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

Rob Manfred provides updated timeline for Red Sox sign-stealing investigation

With spring training now here for MLB clubs, the Boston Red Sox have one massive question hanging over their heads. What will be the result of the MLB's investigation into the team's alleged sign-stealing?

Well, on Sunday afternoon, the Sox got an update on when that may be coming thanks to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

Manfred has stated that the investigation will likely be wrapped up within the next two weeks, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

It will be interesting to see who the MLB is re-interviewing and what impact that will have on the investigation. But the fact that some developments have "slowed down" the MLB doesn't seem to be good news for the Red Sox.

The sooner the Sox know the results of the investigation, the sooner they can move on from it. And that will be important with the regular season drawing nearer and nearer.