Mike Hazen was considered a potential candidate to be the new Boston Red Sox General Manager until he signed an extension with the Diamondbacks.
The Boston Red Sox apparently won’t be bringing Mike Hazen back to the organization to fill their General Manager position.
According to Zach Buchanan of The Athletic Arizona, Hazen has agreed to an extension for his position as GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The terms and length of the extension have yet to be disclosed. Hazen would have still been under contract beyond this season but the Diamondbacks were intent on securing him for the long term. Buchanan notes that extension talks began before the Red Sox fired Dave Dombrowski so this doesn’t appear to be a deal to prevent Hazen from considering a move back to his former team.
Hazen worked in the Red Sox organization for 11 years. The Abington native last served as GM under Dombrowski in 2016 before leaving for Arizona in October of that year. Prior to that, he was a co-assistant GM under Ben Cherington and had served as vice president of player development and amateur scouting.
Considering one of the next Red Sox GM’s steepest challenges will be to rebuild their farm system, someone with Hazen’s background would have been an ideal candidate.
That doesn’t necessarily mean ownership was eyeing him. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reports that the Red Sox never asked the Diamondbacks for permission to speak with Hazen. They might have been planning to but his extension with Arizona squashes that idea. There’s no way they let Hazen talk to other clubs after giving him a new deal.
The Red Sox probably would have needed to offer Hazen a promotion if they had wanted to pry him away from Arizona. Front office executives generally don’t make a lateral move to switch organizations. It’s unclear if the Red Sox intend to hire a president of baseball operations, which was Dombrowski’s title, if they are focused only on finding a GM, or if they will make separate hires to fill both roles.
Hazen has done a fantastic job with the Diamondbacks. He traded for J.D. Martinez at the deadline to fuel their postseason run in 2017. When Martinez left to sign with the Red Sox after the season, Hazen pivoted toward a rebuild by trading franchise cornerstone Paul Goldschmidt ahead of his final season of club control. He later managed to unload Zack Greinke‘s massive contract.
Despite the departure of several All-Stars, the Diamondbacks have managed to hang around in the Wild Card race and seem poised for sustainable success in the future under Hazen’s leadership.
Those are the types of moves the Red Sox need to make – trade for prospects and trim the payroll. Hazen has done that for Arizona while keeping them competitive. Unfortunately, it seems he won’t be doing the same for us.