The Arizona Diamondbacks introduced Mike Hazen as the team’s executive vice president and general manager on Monday. A lot was said regarding the former Red Sox general manager’s approach to the game and running a team, as well as what his role would be with the team.
Let’s start with what the Diamondbacks were looking for. CEO and president Derrick Hall repeatedly mentioned “checking all the boxes” when it came to their new hire. Between his playing experience, scouting and player development background and working his way up in one of the top front offices in the league, Hall and Kendrick believe they got their guy.
While Hazen made his way up the ranks within the Indians and Red Sox organizations, he worked with some of the best general managers and higher-ups in Major League Baseball including David Dombrowski, Mark Shapiro, Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington. The new Diamondbacks general manager is hoping to use what he learned from each and every one of those men in his new role.
The Boston Red Sox is one of the premier jobs in Major League Baseball. Hazen said himself that Fenway Park as an office can’t be beat. The Red Sox have unbelievable resources and a mixture of homegrown talent and big-time free agents signings every offseason. So that begs the question, why move on from Boston to take the Arizona general manager position and become the sixth person to hold the title since 2005?
(Note: Jerry Dipoto served as an interim general manager in 2010.)
Arizona does not have Boston’s budget – few do. A contract like Zack Greinke’s six-year $206,500,000 deal that was signed last offseason wouldn’t take up as much of the payroll in Boston, though, let’s face it, it’s substantial wherever he goes. When asked about his thoughts on the deal and whether he was comfortable with it, Hazen focused more on Greinke the pitcher than the contract linked to him.
No matter where anyone thinks the team stands, adjustments are coming. By no means is the cupboard bare with stars like Paul Goldschmidt, Zack Greinke and A.J. Pollock on the roster, but the team is sure to change after going 69-93 in 2015. Add in that Hazen’s background comes from player development, and it’s fair to say the farm system will be addressed as well.
The Snakes have their general manager, and now Hazen’s top priority is to hire a manager. While that’s next on the to-do list, Hazen didn’t provide a timeline for when a hire would be made. Reports have come out that Boston Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, who was Boston’s interim manager in 2015 when John Farrell was going through cancer treatment, and Reno Aces manager Phil Nevin will interview for the job.
As the Diamondbacks try to fill out the rest of their front office and coaching staff, the offseason hot stove will be here before you know it.