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.