|Sources: Red Sox scouting chief Amiel Sawdaye joining Mike Hazen in Arizona||10.24.16 at 10:51 pm ET|
According to multiple major league sources, Red Sox vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye is slated to become the Arizona Diamondbacks assistant general manager. Sawdaye joins former Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen, who left to run baseball operations for Arizona.
The University of Maryland graduate joined the Red Sox as an intern in 2002-03 before becoming a scouting assistant in 2004-05. Sawdaye was named assistant amateur scouting director in 2005, serving in the position until ’09.
Sawdaye took over as the director of amateur scouting in 2010, replacing current Chicago Cubs assistant GM Jason McLeod, running the Red Sox’ amateur drafts during the drafting of players such as Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Travis Shaw, Blake Swihart, Michael Kopech and Sam Travis.
It is unknown if the Red Sox will formally replace Hazen’s GM position, with pro scouting director Gus Quattlebaum and international scouting director Eddie Romero among those mentioned as candidates for promotions.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic was first to report the news of Sawdaye’s move.
|Terry Francona, Indians headed to World Series||10.19.16 at 6:46 pm ET|
The Indians, and former Red Sox, manager guided his team to a 3-0 win over the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon, clinching Cleveland’s first World Series berth since 1997, not having won the Series since 1948.
Andrew Miller was named MVP for the American League Championship Series, not allowing a run over 7 2/3 innings, striking out 14 and not walking a batter.
It was the fourth time the Indians entered a Game 5 ahead in the series 3-1, having lost the three previous Game 5 opportunities.
The Indians, who won 94 regular season games, improved to 7-1 this postseason. The shutout of the Jays was the third time during this playoff run Cleveland held its opponent scoreless, and marked the first time Toronto had ever been shutout at home in the postseason.
Cleveland starting pitcher Ryan Merritt, who appeared in just four games (making one start) in the regular season, held the Blue Jays scoreless through 4 1/3 innings. The lefty allowed just two hits while not walking a batter before giving way to Brian Shaw.
After a scoreless inning from Shaw, Andrew Miller did his thing, throwing two scoreless frames. Cody Allen finished things off, recording the final three outs to punch the Indians’ ticket to the World Series.
The Cleveland offense was paced by a pair of home runs, coming from Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp.
The Blue Jays managed just one runner in scoring position for the entire game. Toronto finished the series just 1-for-35 with two outs and a man on base.
|Why 1 more win should put Terry Francona in Hall of Fame||10.18.16 at 1:32 pm ET|
But Francona could have managed three blowouts against the Blue Jays and it really wouldn’t have mattered.
The fact of the matter is that you are looking at a guy who should be one win away from certain entrance into the Hall of Fame. If Francona goes on to win the World Series, the debate is done.
Other than current Giants manager Bruce Bochy, there isn’t a manager who has won three World Series titles who isn’t in the Hall of Fame. But even without the third world championship, Francona should be in.
Let’s start with a modern day comparison, Whitey Herzog, who is in Cooperstown. The former was in the World Series three times (which would be the case with Francona), only won a single title, and currently has 100 fewer wins than the Cleveland manager.
Most everyone is believing Jim Leyland is going to be in the Hall of Fame, correct? Well, Leyland also made it to the World Series three times, winning just one. And, by the way, Francona now has three more wins than the former Pirates, Marlins and Tigers manager, also besting Leyland in winning percentage (.533-.506).
Really the only legitimate fly in the ointment when looking at Francona’s Hall of Fame candidacy resides in the case of Ralph Houk. The 20-year manager made it to three World Series, winning two. He also won 1,619 games, which is only behind Gene Mauch (no World Series appearances), Lou Pinella (1 WS appearance), Bochy (active), Leyland (not yet eligible) and Dusty Baker (active, WS appearances) among those who aren’t in the HOF.
Houk’s absence shouldn’t impact Francona’s candidacy, if for no other reason because the former Red Sox manager’s resume is robust even beyond the initial glance. For instance, he has now made the postseason seven times, claiming a .654 winning percentage. Among managers with at least 34 playoff wins, that is by far the best rate, with Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson coming in second with a .618 rate with his 34-win career in the postseason.
One more win. Then the debate should be done.
|Curt Schilling had no time for all of those Trevor Bauer comparisons||10.17.16 at 9:30 pm ET|
When anybody sees a pitcher bleeding on the mound in a postseason game, it’s inevitable Curt Schilling will be referenced.
It was Schilling, after all, who experienced the most notable in-game injury of any pitcher in the playoffs, bleeding through his sock during the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
So when Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer started bleeding profusely from his right hand due to an injury sustained while toying around with a drone, social media started bombarding Schilling.
— MLB Memes (@MLBMeme) October 18, 2016
But with Bauer having to been removed after just 2/3 innings, putting his team in a tough spot, the former Red Sox pitcher didn’t have any use for the two to be lumped together.
Please don't tweet at me about Bauer.He cost himself a start, likely more, AND his teammates, and fans, dicking around with a drone. #stupid
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) October 18, 2016
|Dave Dombrowski issues statement regarding departure of Mike Hazen||10.16.16 at 6:13 pm ET|
It was announced Sunday afternoon by the Diamondbacks that Mike Hazen would be leaving his post as GM of the Red Sox to take become Arizona’s GM.
Early Sunday evening, Red Sox president of baseball operations released a statement regarding Hazen’s move:
“While this is certainly a significant loss for the Red Sox organization, we are extremely happy for Mike and his family as they begin this new opportunity in Arizona. As one of the most respected young baseball executives in the game, Mike is more than deserving of this position. On behalf of the club, we would like to thank Mike for his 11 years of service to the Red Sox and wish him well in his new role. He will be missed by all of his colleagues here at the Boston Red Sox.
In the meantime, a search for a new general manager for the Boston Red Sox is underway.”
Dombrowski is expected to hold a conference call Monday following Hazen’s introductory press conference in Arizona.
|Some names you should pay attention to after Mike Hazen’s departure from Red Sox to Diamondbacks||10.16.16 at 4:28 pm ET|
This move seemed inevitable.
Before getting the general manager job with the Red Sox, Mike Hazen was a finalist for the same position with the Padres before it went to A.J. Preller. Now Hazen is getting his chance, having been hired as the new GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks after spending one season under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
But the timing of the hire makes is significantly more impactful than if Hazen had left for the San Diego job.
The first thing to know is that it would be a significant surprise if Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo doesn’t get the manager’s opening in Arizona. Besides the fact that Lovullo is one of the most qualified candidates (having already interviewed for six managerial jobs since 2005), he is also very close to Hazen, with the two going back to their days in the Indians’ organization.
The other part of the equation that could signal a significant change in how the Red Sox decision-making process works is the possibility of Hazen taking members of the Red Sox’ front office with him to Arizona. With Dombrowski having held on to virtually all of Ben Cherington’s group, the vast majority of those in the offices have more of a connection to Hazen than the current president.
With all of that in mind, here are some names to keep an eye on in the coming days:
Gus Quattlebaum, Red Sox pro scouting director: Quattlebaum, an Andover native, moved from his position as assistant amateur scouting director to the current role after the departure of Jared Porter to the Cubs. He was promoted by Dombrowski, who leaned on the former Davidson College star quite a bit as the season unfolded. Quattlebaum would seem to be a logical candidate for either the Red Sox GM job, or as the Diamondbacks’ assistant general manager.
Frank Wren, Red Sox vice-president of baseball operations: The longtime Braves general manager is one of Dombrowski’s closest confidants, which was a chief reason he served as the only newcomer to top of the the Red Sox’ decision-making process. Wren spent the season living in the Atlanta area, and it is unclear if he would want to make such a transition to Boston.
Brian O’Halloran, Red Sox assistant GM: O’Halloran is one of the best in the business when it comes to contracts, negotiations and other elements of the procedural parts of running a front office. But it is unclear if he has any designs on expanding his role, and with roots firmly planted in the Boston area it might be a surprise if the longtime Red Sox executive (who started in the front office with the likes of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Cherington) decides to move across the country.
Amiel Sawdaye, vice-president with a focus on international and domestic scouting: The former amateur scouting director would seem to be a strong candidate to join Hazen, although the Red Sox significantly value Sawdaye’s contributions. (For more on Sawdaye, click here.)
Ruben Amaro, Red Sox first base coach: It’s a guess that Amaro would have significant interest in either the bench coach’s job, or the GM job. Having a year in the organization under his belt couldn’t hurt his chances.
Alex Cora, ESPN analyst: While this limits Cora’s chances at securing a managing job, with Colorado the last position open, the maneuvering involving the Red Sox might be good news former Red Sox infielder. John Farrell expressed previous interest in bringing Cora on his coaching staff, and there was some thought that if Lovullo got the Rangers job last year he would have tabbed Cora as his bench coach. This could mean the long-awaited coaching opportunity for Cora, either in Boston or Arizona.
Dana LeVangie, Red Sox bullpen/catching coach: The longtime Red Sox scout/coach was promoted to bench coach last season when Lovullo filled in for Farrell. Both the players and coaching staff spoke highly of how the Massachusetts native handled himself in the position.
Gary Tuck, former Red Sox bullpen/catching coach: Tuck most recently coached for the Yankees, serving as their bullpen coach through the 2015 season. The reason we’re surfacing the 62-year-old’s name is less about his history with the Red Sox then it is the fact Farrell tried hiring him to become his bench coach with Toronto. (As a quick aside, if Lovullo left after the 2013 season, current Rays manager would have most likely become the Sox’ bench coach.)
Jason Varitek, Red Sox special assistant to the general manager: Obviously Varitek is valued in the organization, having done a little of everything over the past few years. This season Varitek could be seen in uniform, and in the Sox’ dugout, on various occasions. He interviewed for the Mariners managing job last season, so perhaps the possible bench coaching opening is the right place and right time for the former catcher.
Kevin Boles, Pawtucket Red Sox manager: Boles has history with the majority of the young Red Sox foundation, having managed in both Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket as the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, Travis Shaw, Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Rodriguez and more shot through the system.
|Here’s primer for those wondering which Red Sox can’t start year in minor leagues next season||10.13.16 at 12:49 pm ET|
Just like last offseason and spring training, at least part of the Red Sox’ planning included working their way around which players had options and those who didn’t. Steven Wright, Tommy Layne and Junichi Tazawa helped define the final Opening Day roster conversation because they were out of options and couldn’t be sent to the minor leagues without being designated for assignment.
This year, there are a few more names who should be taken note of when trying to figure out who fits where. The following is a list of players who will be out of options heading into the 2017 season. (Not included are potential free agents or players with contract options.)
Fernando Abad: It remains to be seen if the Red Sox tender the reliever a contract considering he is due to make around $2 million in arbitration.
Bryce Brentz: The 27-year-old outfielder took a step forward in 2016, contributing to the major league club with a .286 batting average and .738 OPS in 45 plate appearances against lefties. He did, however, have less-than-spectacular numbers with Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .242 with a .678 OPS and five homers. With Chris Young still on the roster as the designated weapon/extra outfielder vs. southpaws, there doesn’t appear room for Brentz.
Heath Hembree: This should be an interesting one. Hembree has certainly shown he is a major league reliever, if for no other reason his ability to get out right-handed hitters. The righty is the kind of player who might be able to use his no-more-options status to cement a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Bryan Holaday: Considering he is due to make around $1 million in arbitration, and the Red Sox seem set at the catcher position with Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, the 28-year-old would seem to be on the outside looking in.
Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez: This is not good news for those hoping Swihart gets another shot at the Opening Day catching spot.
Josh Rutledge: Another arbitration-eligible player who might not be tendered a contract.
Steven Wright: Unlike last spring training, conversations about the knuckleballer’s spot on this team probably won’t factor in his lack of options.
|Dustin Pedroia undergoes arthroscopy knee surgery||10.13.16 at 12:15 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced Dustin Pedroia has undergone successful arthroscopy surgery on his left knee.
A partial medial meniscectomy and chondroplasty was performed by Head Team Orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Pedroia is expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training 2017.
The 33-year-old played in 154 regular season games, hitting .318, with 15 home runs and an .825 OPS.
|John Farrell on D,H&T: ‘I love the fact that we’re in a place there is so much scrutiny and I embrace it ‘||10.12.16 at 3:55 pm ET|
Two days after the completion of the 2016 Red Sox season, John Farrell has undeniably been the hottest topic of conversation. And it only amped up once president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced Tuesday that the Sox would be bringing back Farrell as their manager for the 2017 campaign.
Wednesday afternoon, when appearing on the Dale & Holley Show with Jerry Thornton, Farrell addressed some of the buzz that has been circulating since Monday night’s season-ending loss to the Indians:
REGARDING GOING INTO LAST GUARANTEED YEAR OF HIS CONTRACT
“He and I talked briefly yesterday. I’m sure we’ll have opportunity to talk more as we go forward. I don’t think there will be any point and time during the year I was focused on my status. It was always about with what we were doing with our team on a given day, how we were going to best going to prepare. Anything above and beyond that, we have yet to talk anything more specific.”
ON THE SCRUTINY SENT HIS WAY
“I love the fact that we’re in a place there is so much scrutiny and I embrace it and I know that people follow closely. The comparison would be to be in a place where there isn’t as much attention and connection driven by the Red Sox. I love the fact that it’s here, the fact that you get questioned on what you’re doing because it means people are paying attention. I don’t run from those, I don’t deflect them. It’s part of being a manager in Boston.”
|Yoan Moncada reminds us he could be really good||10.12.16 at 9:52 am ET|
As a major leaguer, Yoan Moncada is on the verge of making some unfortunate history, having struck out in his last nine plate appearances.
But everywhere else, the infielder continues to suggest he’s a future star.
Moncada’s latest reminder came with Surprise of the Arizona Fall League Tuesday, with the 21-year-old collecting three hits, including a double and home run in his first AFL game. Playing at third base for the Saguaros, Moncada didn’t get any chances in the field.
Despite his struggles after being called up to the big leagues, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski surmised the two-week stint in the majors was productive.
“I think he benefited,” Dombrowski said of Moncada. “He didn’t benefit by the strikeouts, per se. But I think having the experience to be here and see what it’s like, is beneficial to any player. He is a very fine player. I mean I’ve had young players come up and struggle at times and be great players. So it’s not unusual. So I think for him to reset and go to Arizona and get going is healthy for him. But I think it’s also important, what I’ve learned throughout my career is that no matter how good a player you are at the minor league level, with rare exception, is there not some type of adjustments and struggles at the major league level. No matter how long they’ve played down there. For the simple fact you can’t replicate what takes place here. The ability of the players is so much more.
“So I think for him to see that and you can tell people that, but until they experience it, when he’s hitting at the minor league level and it’s a 2-0 count and there’s nobody on base and they’re losing by a run he’s probably seeing a fastball the majority of the time and here he might see a changeup or breaking ball. And all of a sudden, know that. And give John [Farrell] credit, when we were talking to him about him going to — leaving the club — he asked him what did he learn. ‘what did you learn the most?’ And he said, ‘Well, the way they throw me off-speed pitches when I’m behind in the count. I never really anticipated that they would do that.’ So I think he benefited by it.”
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