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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dombrowski In, Cherington Out

Less than two weeks after saying they weren't going to pursue hiring David Dombrowski, the Red Sox have hired Dombrowski as their new president of baseball operations.

The immediate impact of this hiring is that Ben Cherington is going to step down as general manager of the Sox. He was offered the chance to stay in the GM position by Dombrowski. But Cherington was never likely going to stay in what he (rightly) saw as a diminished role with Dombrowski coming on board.

This is the biggest front-office shake-up since Tito Francona and Theo Epstein left at the end of 2011. And with Cherington's eventual departure (he is staying to help in the transitional period) this marks the end of the Lucchino - Epstein Era in Boston (Cherington was heavily promoted by Lucchino and Epstein through the Boston ranks). With Dombrowski taking over, the possibility exists for massive change in the Boston organization.

Dombrowksi and John Henry have a history together. Dombrowski was GM of the Florida Marlins for a four-year period when Henry owned that franchise. So perhaps this signing isn't that surprising.

Dombrowski also has a reputation for making bold trades. He's the man who traded for Miguel Cabrera, David Price and Max Scherzer in Detroit. More recently, he's the guy who fleeced the Red Sox in the Rick Porcello trade. So the odds are likely that things will not remain the same in the Boston clubhouse over the next few months.

That likely will not extend to John Farrell. Despite back-to-back last place finishes (if things remain the same the rest of 2015), it would be bad form (and bad press) to can a manager who just started chemo for his cancer. You could also make the argument that Farrell has not been given the right players to have this team in contention. Health issues aside, I would guess that Farrell would still be given a season to prove he can win with Dombrowski running the show. I would guess that goes for his staff as well.

And just what will the Red Sox look like in 2016?

Here's the thing; everything is on the table. Dombrowski has no allegiance to any of these players. He didn't draft them or watch them come up through the ranks. He didn't trade for any of them. And that means that some players Red Sox fans consider untouchable may not actually be so.