We knew it wouldn’t take long for dispatched Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski to find a new gig, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
The Boston Red Sox have hired Dombrowski as their new president of baseball operations, a position over top of general manager Ben Cherington … who has elected to leave the organization rather than stay on in his role as GM, which, effectively, would have been a demotion (USA Today). Although Cherington will stay on to help with Dombrowski’s transition, it’s a fair bet that he’ll soon be looking for a new front office gig.
The immediate, natural, and fair speculation will concern the Chicago Cubs’ front office, currently run by the very men with whom Cherington worked his way up in Boston, and led by the man whose job Cherington took with the Red Sox. Whatever his failings as Boston’s GM – and I’m not actually sure he really did “fail,” given that it doesn’t seem like the organizational infrastructure at the highest levels there have been conducive to baseball leadership for a while now – Cherington is a bright, well-respected baseball executive who will be able to help some team in some capacity.
We’ll see if he waits for a top-level position – there aren’t expected to be that many available this offseason, but there will be a few – or if he joins a front office in an assistant-level capacity. It’s also possible, after 17 years with the Red Sox and 4 years as GM, Cherington might want a breather.
As for the Red Sox, this represents a possibly significant organizational shift. Dombrowski is not known for being a prospect hoarder, and doesn’t skew as analytical as the Red Sox have for the better part of a decade and a half. Given their deep stores of young talent, I wonder if we’ll see some aggressive wheeling and dealing in the offseason.
(In case you vaguely remembered an embargo on the Cubs hiring any Red Sox front office employees as part of the Theo Epstein hiring process, congrats! You have a good vague memory. That embargo, however, lasted just three years, and expired at the end of 2014.)