The Red Sox should consider Ben Cherington for vacant GM position
The Boston Red Sox are in a transition period as they enter the post-Dombrowski era. Could a former exec be the one to lead them back to the promised land?
Over the weekend, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald had reported that the Red Sox wouldn’t be showing any consideration towards former General Manager Ben Cherington. This came as a bit of a surprise as for the most part, Cherington’s time in Boston was a success that allowed to team to be successful as time went on. Why he wouldn’t even be approached is a mystery to me.
With how things ended for Dave Dombrowski in Boston it’s clear that the organization is at a bit of a crossroads. Considering how Dombrowski was removed from his position with several weeks left in the season, I think it’s safe to say many people were a bit surprised.
Hell, they just added three division titles as well as a World Series to their resume. But massive spending and an insurmountable deficit in the loss column spelled the end for Dealin’ Dave.
Now that the Red Sox are looking to the future there doesn’t seem to be a clear path for them to go down. When I saw the news that they were planning on staying away from Cherington I had to scratch my head.
Much like Dombrowski, Cherington brought great success to the organization with a few gaffes along the way. Ben wasn’t immune to the big-money contracts that have the capability to flop and handcuff a team, I’m looking at you, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
What Cherington did do differently from Dombrowski was that he focused heavily on developing the farm system. Much like his predecessor Theo Epstein, he seemingly had a plan of mixing homegrown talent, inexpensive ringers, and a few stars sprinkled in. Seeing that the farm system went from being on the top of the mountain to the bottom of the barrel under Dombrowski, bringing back a guy that has that focus feels like a good idea.
The Red Sox do have some gems in the farm system right now and much of their current roster came through the ranks. Stars like Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts all spent time in the Boston farm system and would make their names through call-ups.
So to have a system that is ranked so low at this place and time is just inexcusable. Whoever gets the job in the post-Dombrowski era needs to make it a top priority.
Cherington is currently the VP of Baseball Operations with the Blue Jays so coming back to Boston wouldn’t be a long-shot idea. He’s familiar with the ownership and by being in the AL East he has knowledge of the team as it currently stands. A GM not only needs to focus on their own team but has to be knowledgeable on the rest of the squads at least in their division to properly build matchups.
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Now, I’m writing this as if Ben has come out and said he’d like to return. For all that we know he may want nothing to do with the Red Sox. Based off of the way he was pushed out of the organization, I wouldn’t blame him. Though Toronto isn’t the hottest team in the league right now, they have really nice building blocks in Vlad Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio.
The Blue Jays aren’t far removed from their last postseason appearance and those three very well could lead them back to October soon. As things are beginning to look up in the Great White North, it may not be the right time for Cherington to want to leave to head back to what’s becoming a headache in Boston.
It’s still so early in this process and the only people that know where things may be heading are John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino. From someone on the outside looking in, I enjoyed Cherington’s time with the Red Sox and he should be credited for all the good he did despite his few missteps. He’s still a major reason for the 2013 World Series win and his fingerprints can still be felt in 2019.
The Red Sox are heading for some rough seas with a lot of possible changes already beginning to take shape. Dave Dombrowski being fired was just the first domino to fall. Next will be two very important free agency windows that could shape the future of the Sox for years to come. Though Ben Cherington feels like a solid fit to try and right the ship, Boston is clearly heading in another direction. Will it be the right decision? Only time will tell.