Diamondbacks hire Red Sox executive Mike Hazen as new general manager
Arizona fired Dave Stewart two weeks ago
Here's the official announcement:
Named the Red Sox GM about 13 months ago, Hazen's motivation for jumping to the Diamondbacks is presumably rooted in wanting more authority -- something he shared with Dave Dombrowski in Boston. (Note what that might mean about Tony La Russa's influence in the Arizona front office.) Prior to being anointed GM, he'd spent years in an assistant GM capacity, and before that he'd sharpened his toenail clippers on the player-development side. Add in a reported interest in sabermetrics, as well as an Ivy League degree, and -- for better or, likely, worse -- you have the modern-day template for a GM hire.
The first order of business for Hazen? Finding a manager. It's possible he already knows who Chip Hale's successor will be -- perhaps Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, as Peter Gammons suggested:
Torey Lovullo should be at the front of the line for Arizona managerial job— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 16, 2016
We'll see which direction Hazen steers the Diamondbacks toward this winter from there, but this much is clear: a rebuild is unlikely to result in a better core than the one in place. Arizona has a number of impact-level players -- namely Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and Zack Greinke -- who could serve as the bedrock for a competitive team. Presuming Hazen wants to win right away (and that's no longer a given) then the emphasis this winter should be adding complementary pieces, especially in the bullpen.
The big question is how long Hazen will last. Arizona's ownership is notoriously difficult to work with, and in recent years they've chucked executives aside like used socks. To wit, Hazen is the third different GM the D-Backs have employed since the beginning of the 2014 season. We'll see how long that remains true.
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