Less than a year ago, Boston Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski was watching his team win the World Series. Now, he is no longer with the team.
The Red Sox announced Sunday they had parted ways with Dombrowski, ending the tenure of one of baseball’s most respected executives in shocking fashion.
Red Sox announce they are “parting ways” with Dombrowski.— Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) September 9, 2019
MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that general manager duties will be split between assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran and Zack Scott, with a search for a full-time GM in the works.
Red Sox dealing with post World-Series slump
Dombrowski’s firing came minutes after the team finished up a 10-5 loss to the rival New York Yankees. With the loss, Boston now sits 17.5 games back from the Yankees in the AL East at 76-67.
That’s a far cry from the team’s 108-win pace last year, but still decent enough that Dombrowski’s firing is a stunner.
One of the reasons behind Dombrowski’s firing might be the team’s current financial state. The Red Sox topped all of baseball in luxury tax payroll this season and are now sitting well outside of playoff contention.
The signings of Chris Sale, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi by Dombrowski — who is well-known for splurging on free agents and trading prospects away for MLB talent — will cost the team $79 million in salary alone over the next three seasons.
Of course, the Red Sox still have some major impending free agents, 2018 MVP Mookie Betts in particular. Betts told reporters after Sunday’s game that the change in management mattered little to him.
Mookie Betts on contract talks with a new GM: “It doesn’t matter who the talks are with. It’ll be the same answer. It’s a business.”— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 9, 2019
Said Dombrowski firing proves this is a business.
The 26-year-old Betts is set to hit free agency after the 2020 season and figures to command well upwards of $200 million.
Red Sox saw a lot of success with Dave Dombrowski
The Red Sox quickly scooped up Dombrowski in August 2015 after his release from the rebuilding Detroit Tigers. He quickly went to work, overseeing the team’s rise from a last-place finish in 2015 to the top of the AL East in 2016.
That was the first of three straight division titles for Boston, which kept acquiring talent like Sale, Price, Craig Kimbrel and J.D. Martinez while also watching homegrown talents Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi turn into stars.
All of that culminated in one of the greatest teams in baseball history last year, winning 108 games in the regular season and running away with the World Series in five games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. You would think all of that success would buy some job security, but this is still Boston.
Between the team’s current financial obligations, the need to retain its young talent and the fact that a guy who won the World Series just got canned, Dombrowski’s successor will be dealing with a high-pressure situation from Day 1.
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