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.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.


 

MLB Rumors: Yankees prepared to offer Gerrit Cole record-setting deal

MLB Rumors: Yankees prepared to offer Gerrit Cole record-setting deal

Brace yourselves, Red Sox fans. The New York Yankees appear to be all-in on Gerrit Cole.

Cole, the premier free-agent pitcher on the market, is the Yankees' top offseason priority according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Passan notes ownership has given the go-ahead to offer the right-hander a record-setting deal.

If the Yankees hope to sign Cole, however, they'll have to win a bidding war against both Los Angeles clubs.

Passan writes:

New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching than the Yankees, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million, according to sources. The Los Angeles Dodgers' interest in Cole is acute as well, though they are also considering bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, sources said.

So yeah, Cole is going to make a pretty penny. And it's well-deserved. The 29-year-old went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA last season for the Houston Astros and finished as the runner-up for the American League Cy Young award.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Ex-Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon thanks fans, organization in heartfelt post

Ex-Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon thanks fans, organization in heartfelt post

The Sandy Leon era in Boston is over, but the catcher clearly is thankful for the five years he spent with the Red Sox.

Leon, who was traded to the Cleveland Indians on Monday for a minor league pitcher, posted a message on Instagram thanking Red Sox fans and the organization.

Here's what he wrote:

Today, I thank God for everything he allowed me to live these past five years. They were filled with unimaginable joy for me and my family. I want to thank the @redsox for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their organization. You were an extended family during that time. Thank you for being a part of my career. I will live in appreciation of the team. I also want to thank the Boston fans. You guys are the best! Thank you for every encouraging word during each game. Thank you for showing what true passion for a club is. Today, I am convinced that everything I learned and lived during my time with the @redsox will be fundamental for whatever God has in store for me with the @indians Thank you Red Sox and Red Sox fans. Eternally grateful. 🙌🏻

Check out the post below:

View this post on Instagram

Hoy quiero darle gracias a Dios por todo lo que me ha permitido vivir en estos últimos 5 años, los cuales han sido llenos de cosas inimaginables para mi familia y para mi. Quiero darle gracias a los @redsox por haberme dado la oportunidad de ser parte de su organización. Fueron como una familia extendida. Les agradezco haber sido parte de mi carrera. Viviré agradecido de ustedes. También quiero dar gracias muy especiales a los fanáticos de Boston ¡SON LOS MEJORES! Gracias por cada palabra de aliento en cada partido. Gracias por mostrarme cómo se puede amar a un equipo. Hoy estoy convencido que todo lo aprendido y vivido en los @redsox será fundamental para lo que Dios me permita vivir en los próximos años con los @indians GRACIAS POR TODO @redsox GRACIAS REDSOX FANS. Eternamente agradecido. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 • • • Today, I thank God for everything he allowed me to live these past five years. They were filled with unimaginable joy for me and my family. I want to thank the @redsox for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their organization. You were an extended family during that time. Thank you for being a part of my career. I will live in appreciation of the team. I also want to thank the Boston fans. You guys are the best! Thank you for every encouraging word during each game. Thank you for showing what true passion for a club is. Today, I am convinced that everything I learned and lived during my time with the @redsox will be fundamental for whatever God has in store for me with the @indians Thank you Red Sox and Red Sox fans. Eternally grateful. 🙌🏻

A post shared by Sandy Leon (@sandyleon41) on

Leon didn't exactly strike fear in opposing pitchers during his time in Boston, but he did serve as a trusted battery mate for several Red Sox pitchers. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, in particular, preferred the Venezuela native as their go-to backstop.

With Leon off the roster, that leaves Christian Vazquez as the lone catcher currently on the Red Sox depth chart.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.