Red Sox Front Office Focus: Mike Hazen


The potentially hottest property on the Red Sox may not be a player, but assistant GM Mike Hazen.

Hazen has moved up the corporate ladder in baseball ops since joining the Red Sox. Hazen is following a similar path as Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington have followed and that makes him a commodity of interest in the turbulent world of baseball GM’s.

Hazen recently interviewed for the Dodgers GM slot and has interviewed in 2009 with the Padres for the assistant GM slot and twice more with the Padres for the GM openings. So far, Hazen is 0-4 and someone is missing an outstanding opportunity.

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Hazen is a local growing up in Abington, Massachusetts – next to the town I grew up in – Whitman. Hazen went to Princeton and played some All-Ivy outfield and was drafted in the late rounds by the Padres in 1998. After two seasons, Hazen moved on to the operations side of baseball and put his playing days behind him.

In 2006 the Red Sox hired Hazen, working for the Indians as assistant director of player development, and brought him back home to be director of player development. After five years, Hazen was moved up to VP of player development and amateur scouting. In 2013 Hazen and Brian O’Halloran became assistant GM’s with O’Halloran’s expertise more on the business side and Hazen’s on the development side.

The path in Boston appears shut for Hazen with Ben Cherington locked in for at least the next few seasons. Similar to Josh McDaniel’s with the Patriots – nowhere to go, but elsewhere.

In the rarefied atmosphere of baseball GM’s an important plus is player development. That is the strong point Hazen has had throughout his career. Hazen also has the experience of operating in a big market environment where fans, media and management often have a “what have you done for me lately” attitude. Hazen’s skills have been honed in a pressure cooker with the successes, dramatic failures, success once again and now a retooling. He’s seen it all.

The Red Sox have incubated front office talent throughout baseball just as the Boston Celtics have for coaching talent for the last four decades. Hazen will eventually land somewhere as his talent is recognized and being runner-up is not a negative, but part of the process. Hazen is young, talented and has a substantial resume. Look for him to be a GM somewhere in the fall of 2015.