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The search for the next Red Sox general manager is still in its infancy after the surprising firing of Dave Dombrowski, but one notable option just got taken off the table.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced a contract extension for general manager Mike Hazen, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, though the extension will be reportedly added to the two years Hazen already had.
The Diamondbacks have announced a contract extension for General Manager Mike Hazen. They did not say for how many years, but Hazen will not be leaving for the Red Sox. Original deal still had two years remaining. This is on top of that.
— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) September 14, 2019
The 43-year-old Hazen was previously thought to be a natural possibility for the Red Sox GM search because of his past with the team.
Worked under 3 World Series-winning executives
Hazen was actually the Red Sox general manager already under Dombrowski, who held the higher position of president of baseball operations. Before his elevation to GM, Hazen had worked in the team’s front office under Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington.
The Diamondbacks hired Hazen away as their own general manager following the 2016 season, essentially promoting him since there was no decision-maker above him in the baseball ops department.
Since Hazen’s hiring, the D’backs have gone 250-221 with a wild card berth in 2017 and no losing seasons in three years. Meanwhile, the team’s farm system has improved from MLB’s No. 28 farm system according to Baseball America to No. 16 now.
The Dodgers (19.5 games ahead of the D’backs this year with the No. 5 farm) are still a problem, but it’s easy to see why Hazen might want to stick with what he’s built.
Per the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the extension came early enough that the Red Sox hadn’t even requested permission to speak with Hazen, a Massachusetts native.
According to a Major League source, Red Sox (who are still early in formation of a candidate list) had never requested permission to talk to Hazen about his interest in returning to Boston. This extension effectively preempted any potential request.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) September 14, 2019
Hazen not the only option for Red Sox search
Another well-regarded executive with Red Sox ties got a boost on Wednesday, as the Cubs announced Jason McLeod had been promoted to senior vice president of player personnel.
McLeod goes all the way back to the Epstein years in the Red Sox front office, when he served as a scout from 2003-09. He also previously worked as assistant general manager of the San Diego Padres for two seasons.
Per The Athletic, McLeod didn’t deny he would listen if the Red Sox came calling about their top job.
Of course, it’s hard to say what the Red Sox want at this juncture. They just fired a general manager less than a year after he won them the World Series, which carries curious implications both for what they want in the future and the level of pressure Dombrowski’s successor will be facing.
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