The DD Replacement. Who's Next?

BJBossman

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Theo obviously had favorable draft positions, but he made some savvy pickups and under-the-radar acquisitions too. He got all-star caliber guys like Rizzo, Hendricks, Arrieta, and Fowler for virtually nothing, and real contributors like Strop, Rondon, Travis Wood, Valbuena, Villanueva, Edwards Jr., Coghlan, Hammel, Caratini, Bote, DeJesus, La Stella, Montero and Montgomery off the scrap heap.

He’s excellent at identifying Mark Bellhorn-style acquisitions — unspectacular 2- or 3-win positional players and solid late-inning types that are kind of buried in other orgs.
those are the exact type of guys that CLE needs to build around that core.
 

BJBossman

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I mean, WHOEVER is the next GM (or Prez of baseball ops or whatever the title is) is going to have his or her work cut out for them, right? There's a lot to work with, but there are a lot of problems to be sorted through.
especially if ownership wants to do a luxury tax reset in the near future.
 

jon abbey

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They have to get fully out from under the old guard GM style, which means getting rid of La Russa and Frank Wren too.
Wren is gone:

"More changes for Red Sox: veteran exec Frank Wren and veteran scout Eddie Bane are among folks let go. Wren leaving not unexpected, as the ex O’s and Braves GM is close to Dombrowski. Bane is best recalled for engineering all time great 2009 Angels draft (Trout, much more)."

View: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1174783871768023049
 

jon abbey

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And they've asked La Russa to stay:

"The Red Sox have asked Tony La Russa to remain with the club. The Hall of Fame manager came to Boston to work as VP/special assistant to Dave Dombrowski, who worked w/La Russa w/White Sox decades earlier. But remaining brass prefers TLR stay, and there have been talks to that end"

View: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1174816902083989504
 

bosockboy

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Pitt the Elder

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67YAZ

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Phil Rogers stumping for DD to take over the White Sox, which seems like a good fit.

You see that part where Williams & Hahn essentially serve as advisors to Reinsdorf? Yeah, that’s why those two have been on the South Side for a combined 42 years and no one else has been trying to elbow into that organization.

DD won’t - and shouldn’t - serve as a glorified assistant GM who has jockey with 2 other guys to get his voice heard.

Edit: Rogers was pulling his punch to preserve his relationship with Reinsdorf. What he should have said was, Reinsdorf needs to get out of baseball ops and turn the team over to an experienced hand like DD. That makes a lot of sense for the White Sox.
 
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joe dokes

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I don’t get that. At all.
I dont either. But in trying to figure out why, maybe LaRussa is skilled at identifying or analyzing talent / skill / performance in a way that is still useful, regardless of who the GM is? I'm more interested in why *he* would want to stay here.
 

lexrageorge

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It wasn't that long ago (thinking 1990's here) where LaRussa was rightfully seen as an innovative manager who was ahead of the curve in terms of analytics. I read somewhere where there was an interleague series in 2003 in which LaRussa clearly outcoached Grady Little in terms of bullpen usage and other things managers do, and that was one of the key points when Henry was convinced they needed to get rid of Little (granted, that is not a high bar).

I do think those days are long past him, but even Bill Belichick has commented on LaRussa's intelligence. I don't want him running baseball operations, nor do I seem him as advancing the needle in terms of advanced analytics. But we don't really know what happens behind the scenes, and it wouldn't surprise me if the team thought a smart, veteran "baseball" guy would be useful in some capacity in the front office during the transition period.
 
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The Globe reports "La Russa to take on new role." First thing that came to mind was, "Water boy. Where are you hiding?," but the Globe says he is expected to work on staff development.
 

E5 Yaz

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Olney story (behind paywall), starts with this

Two World Series titles in six years, and two executives -- with two very different personalities, operating very differently -- both dismissed. These decisions loosely frame the industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work. Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he'd probably love to consider as possible replacements for Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory
Olney story (behind paywall), starts with this
Another damning quote from that story.

"A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball's model for dysfunction. "If Sam ever walked away," said one official, "the whole thing would be a complete mess."
 

Van Everyman

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A friend of mine is pretty close with a guy some on this thread have said the Sox should go after. I asked him right after DD was fired if he’d be interested in the job. He replied: “Would you want to work for a Red Sox team that fired their last GM a year after winning a World Series?”
 

JimD

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It certainly doesn't hurt the negotiating leverage of prospective candidates if they privately leak their misgivings about the job to someone who will very publicly broadcast that message.
 

67YAZ

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Does this quote mean from Heyman that things in the Cubs front office may shake up? McLeod just signed a new deal, so he's not going anywhere. But maybe Jed Hoyer or even Theo will be available?

View: https://twitter.com/JonHeyman/status/1175854331075203074
Heyman is tweeting about a meeting that happened 6+ months ago? So he doesn't have the best Cubs sources...

Barring a miracle this week, Maddon is gone. It’s a little awkward because he just opened a restaurant near Wrigley, but my guess is Joe will be ok on TV until another team comes calling.

Theo has 2 years to run on his deal. My guess, based on local media consumption, is that Theo stays, but no extension talks this winter. He’ll get a year to fix the bullpen, find a 2B, try to offload Russell, and bring in coaching staff that will improve the defense and focus on getting the back half of the lineup to put in consistently good ABs.

It’s possible the Ricketts clean out the front office. It’s also possible they think McLeod is their GM of the future or that his new contract has offset language that makes it cheaper for dump him.
 
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Mueller's Twin Grannies

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A friend of mine is pretty close with a guy some on this thread have said the Sox should go after. I asked him right after DD was fired if he’d be interested in the job. He replied: “Would you want to work for a Red Sox team that fired their last GM a year after winning a World Series?”
To be fair, Dombrowski asked to be let go because the FO couldn't give him the clarity he wanted about his role moving forward. It might be semantics it's not like JWH suddenly channeled the late SiaS and fired him for failing to get back to the playoffs before they were even officially eliminated. But the fellow's point does somewhat stand.
 

Van Everyman

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So does this mean the FO will pull a 2012 and refuse to let Eddie hire his own guy as Tony "Staff Development" LaRussa instead installs himself as manager Dick Cheney-style?
 

BJBossman

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To be fair, Dombrowski asked to be let go because the FO couldn't give him the clarity he wanted about his role moving forward. It might be semantics it's not like JWH suddenly channeled the late SiaS and fired him for failing to get back to the playoffs before they were even officially eliminated. But the fellow's point does somewhat stand.
Yeah, it's not the best look that Cherington and DD were fired not long after title runs.

But i'm sure they could convince someone to take the job with the right offer. Especially if they can match their vision with ownership.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Yeah, it's not the best look that Cherington and DD were fired not long after title runs.

But i'm sure they could convince someone to take the job with the right offer. Especially if they can match their vision with ownership.
But even with Cherington, he wasn't fired by the definition of the term. He was asked to stay and help Dombrowski and he declined, feeling he'd proven he was worthy of the job and didn't need to be the right hand to someone with a much different organizational philosophy. He also asked to be let go.

I don't think Henry & Co. have actually fired a GM due to poor performance since they took over. Theo quit, but came back before heading off to Chicago. Cherington didn't want to get passed over or demoted, so he left. Dombrowski didn't want to be a lame duck GM, especially with the organization moving in another direction so he left. It's not a great look but it's not like every move has been due to the organization's dissatisfaction with the job the person has done. In Theo's case, it was to move into a better position he wasn't going to get in Boston. In Cherington's case, it was because he didn't want to go back to being an understudy again. That said, promoting from within seems the best move if they want to go with the youth movement and a team rebuild from the farm system up. Best to get someone in there who is familiar with the system, players, and organizational relationships but that will be there for the long haul and isn't coming in to right the ship.

Edit: I'm going off of memory with Cherington, but I don't think he was the scapegoat for the bad finishes under the last couple years or so of Manager John.
 

pantsparty

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I'm going off of memory with Cherington, but I don't think he was the scapegoat for the bad finishes under the last couple years or so of Manager John.
I read about it Alex Speier's book a few days ago, and you have it mostly correct. After being bad in 2014 and looking like more of the same in 2015, Ben Cherington and John Henry had been discussing how the front office should be shaped, and Cherington was even open to having a PoBO installed above him. Dombrowski was hired without ever giving Cherington a heads up that that was a possibility, and combined with how drastically different the roster building philosophy would be under Dombrowski than it had been under Theo and Cherington was what made him decide to leave.
 

the count

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Sep 20, 2019
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Two things: This non sense being hyped by Olney and some of the more bias Yankee reporters that the Sox are an organization held together with ductape...moments...or one false move away from falling into an Orioles state of disaray is madness. We have an incredible foundation in place. Granted two key parts: Mookie and JD are iffy, but that still leaves you Benny, Bogey, Devers and Vasquez to build on. And while there is a chance Sale, Price and Eovaldi are never healthy again, there is an equal chance they all return healthy next year. Eovaldi has already. Price is having a minor procedure and Sale...well...he is the big question mark. But remember the injury. An inflammed elbow. Nothing torn....nothing ripped...nothing frayed. It is an injury that yes, could be a sign that something more serious could develop...but also just as likely that he fully recovers. AND if we do lose JD and Mookie....you get more payroll flexibility...and I imagine a very good haul of nearlymlb ready prospects for Mookie. So that foundation, a chance to add on, a healthy budget and a vastly underrated farm system makes this a highly desireable landing spot for a gm. Hell we are literally 11 months removed from a world title. I know one can point to the 2013 to 2014 sox....vastly different situation there. Just sayin'
2- Theo boy wonder rides in to save the day? Color me skeptical. Been there done that. The shine of leading his hometown team to the promised land is over...that appeal no longer exists. And the shine on theo faded somewhat during these past three years in Chi town, Hell it actually began when he arrived and unceremoniuously dumped the sitting manager- a solid baseball man who weeks earlier had been told he was safe- for the shiney object of the week in Joe Madden. I guess wine tastings, poetry readings and dressup days can only motivate big leaguer players for a limited time:)
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Eovaldi has come back healthy, yes, but he's also been pedestrian or worse most times out. Now, that can be attributed to still getting the feeling back after invasive surgery and basically building up his arm strength and working on control, but it's enough of a concern that there is going to be a big microscope on him heading into spring training and the start of the season.

I don't think there's as an equal of a chance of Sale returning fine and dandy as there is of him continuing to decline. Sale's arm issues are nothing new and it could be that he just overdid it last year when he came back for good and his body still hadn't recovered by the time he had to ramp it up for the regular season. I've made a big deal about Cora's bad plan for the starters, so I won't beat that dead horse but it's worth mentioning that it may have had the biggest effect on Sale. Then there's the toe injury he had, which likely affected his pitching motion a little and may have led to the sped up exacerbation up of his arm issue over time. But it's not like he was consistently awful: he had some true gems sprinkled throughout the season, most notably his 17K game against the Rockies, but he also had outings where he got bombed, including by teams and players that were historically overmatched when they dug in against him. And then he went to go see THE TJ surgery doctor and was given a stay of execution before being completely shut down for the season. As I recall, it was not a definitive, "Yeah, he'll be fine," but more of, "There's nothing major going on now but we're going to keep an eye on things and reassess in a few months," which is hardly as comforting as a complete all clear. I would argue that the chances of Sale coming back perfectly healthy and among the best pitchers in baseball again are significantly lower than the chances that he is going to be diminished moving forward, with it being a minor miracle if he's even 80% of the pitcher he used to be for the next couple of seasons. I can only hope that those fears are unfounded but there is not a lot out there to make me or anyone else feel great about Chris Sale being the ace of the staff moving forward.

Price will likely be fine, though, but these issues have been more and more frequent with him as time has gone on and, generally speaking, people with chronic issues don't usually see them get better over time. Fingers crossed that he'll be good but only time will tell.

Calling the farm system, ranked among the worst in MLB, as vastly underrated is a bit of a canard, though, and I don't think it's going to be a big draw for someone unless the plan is to do what Houston has done and Kansas City, on a smaller scale, before them and just tank to get a bunch of high-ceiling prospects to build the foundation for a few years of contention once those prospects begin to come of age. If it's someone who is trying to make the team a contender as close to immediately as possible, it's likely about appealing as a kick in the shins.
 

the count

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Sep 20, 2019
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I think the perception of the farm system of being filled with garbage is wrong. It is not where it was pre Dombrowski...but it is not baren. I would not be surprised to see guys like Chatham, Dalbec and Wilson contributing to the 2020 effort. And there are any number of solid to blue chip prospects currently in the lower levels who dont generate much attention.
 

jon abbey

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I think the perception of the farm system of being filled with garbage is wrong. It is not where it was pre Dombrowski...but it is not baren. I would not be surprised to see guys like Chatham, Dalbec and Wilson contributing to the 2020 effort. And there are any number of solid to blue chip prospects currently in the lower levels who dont generate much attention.
Do you follow other systems closely to compare them? Fangraphs has BOS ranked #30 of 30 currently in their new ranking system that assigns a monetary value to each ranked prospect depending on their FV value, but maybe more importantly they deem only 33 BOS prospects worth paying attention to currently. Other AL East teams by comparison: TB has 59, NYY 58, TOR 39, BAL 34.

 

the count

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I do. and I also remember guys like Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia being largely considered non prospects by these same ranking systems just a few years ago. Im just saying that there are some intriqueing prospects in the system that may be able to contribute sooner than later
 

jon abbey

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I do. and I also remember guys like Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia being largely considered non prospects by these same ranking systems just a few years ago.
Both of them were top 100 MLB prospects a year or so before being called up for good, Pedroia was #77 in BA pre-2006, Mookie was #75 in BA and #62 on mlb.com pre-2014. That's not to say that guys not considered top prospects don't blossom quite a bit once they get to the bigs, but those are not great examples.
 

the count

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Sep 20, 2019
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Lets not quibble. I like Chatham and Dalbec and to a lesser extent Wilson. I think they could surprise. Safe to say "predicting" which minor league players will or will not develop into solid major leaguers is an inexact science to say the least
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Wilson, too.

He and Chatham are more likely to be the Gorkys Hernandez and Chris Owings of 2020 than anything else

You are wishcasting binkies here.

I know you are new, maybe slow down and read more and post less for a bit?
 

the count

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Oh I will call you all out when Chatham is named the opening day 2nd baseman. Cora likes him. Of course Cora likes Brian Johnson so maybe im not helping my argument