The exodus of talent leaving the Red Sox over the last year does not fill me with hope.
The Diamondbacks’ new-look front office continued to take shape Monday with the addition of Red Sox executive Amiel Sawdaye, who will become the club’s senior vice president and assistant general manager, a source said Monday night.
Sawdaye, who has been with the Red Sox since 2002, will be the second in command to new General Manager Mike Hazen. The two overlapped in Boston for 11 years.
Sawdaye ran the amateur draft for the Red Sox from 2010 to 2014, during which time the club selected Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart and Matt Barnes, among others. He spent the past two years as vice president of amateur and international scouting.
He gets to keep his red stapler and can listen to the radio at a reasonable volume.
Former Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa has decided to remain with the franchise in an advisory role under new executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reported the news Sunday as the team announced the hiring of Hazen, the former Red Sox general manager.
The decision follows the D-backs’ firing of general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale on Oct. 3. Hired by La Russa, the duo spent two seasons on the job and led Arizona to a 148-176 record.
Before the firings, La Russa met with Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick and discussed taking on a new, non-decision-making role. Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro reported Oct. 3 that the team offered to retain La Russa in such an advisory role.
The former leader of the D-backs’ front office leader will report to Hazen and will “have a voice in the room, weigh in with ideas and opinions,” but not be the ultimate decision-maker, according to Gambadoro.
The Diamondbacks named Mike Hazen their general manager on Sunday, hiring him away from the Boston Red Sox, where he was serving as second-in-command to Dave Dombrowski.
Hazen, 40, spent the previous 11 seasons working for the Red Sox in a variety of roles, beginning as director of player development in 2006.
“Mike’s background is the perfect balance of scouting, player development and analytics, which will all play an important role going forward,” Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall said in a statement. “He’s a natural leader, who we feel fortunate to have been able to hire, and we welcome him and his family to Arizona.”
Sources: #DBacks also interviewed J.J. Piccolo, Kim Ng, Peter Woodfork and internal candidates Mike Bell and Bryan Minniti.
But while the ownership involvement and the obvious volatility (they’re about to hire their seventh GM in 13 years) are potential issues, the Arizona GM job is still seen as desirable by many. To reports about candidates being turned off by the seeming instability, one interested party who hasn’t been mentioned yet opined, “That’s BS. There are only 30 of these jobs.”
The Diamondbacks appear to have compiled at least a preliminary list of potential general manager candidates to take over for the departing Dave Stewart, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). In addition to a quartet of men with ties to the organization, MLB senior VP Kim Ng is under consideration, per the report.
Ng has long been discussed as a front office target for organizations, and has interviewed for top baseball ops positions on several occasions. A former assistant GM with the Dodgers, Ng would become the game’s first-ever general manager if she is hired for this or another open job.
Additionally, Arizona is looking at current AGM Bryan Minniti and farm director Mike Bell — as has previously been reported. Minniti just completed his second season in that role for the D-Backs after previously serving in a similar capacity with the Nationals. Bell has held his post with Arizona for six seasons.
Former D-Backs’ scouting guru and current Brewers scouting director Ray Montgomery is also under consideration, as is former Arizona AGM Peter Woodfork, who currently works with Ng in the league office.
Fresh off a very disappointing 2016 season, the Arizona Diamondbacks have fired general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale, the club announced Monday afternoon.
Hopes were high for Arizona entering the spring of 2016. They were coming off a 79-83 season in 2015 and added ace pitcher Zack Greinke via free agency in addition to trading for 2015 All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller.
Instead, the second year with both Stewart and Hale couldn’t have been more of a disaster.
They can’t fire another leadership team again? Can they?
Arizona Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa is expected to meet Monday with team owner Ken Kendrick, sources say, with a decision expected soon regarding the fates of La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart.
The decisions may even come at the high-powered pow-wow. If not, then they should come soon after.
The Diamondbacks informed De Jon Watson, the club’s senior vice president of baseball operations, that he will not have his contract option picked up for 2017, the first of what could be several dominos to fall in leadership positions within the organization.
Though Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa made the announcement Sunday evening, he stressed that the Watson dismissal in no way clarified La Russa’s own situation for next season, nor that of General Manager Dave Stewart.
Both La Russa and Stewart’s jobs are being “evaluated” by ownership and CEO Derrick Hall as the Diamondbacks are nearing the end of one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Even after beating the Dodgers 10-9 in 12 innings on Sunday afternoon, the Diamondbacks are on pace for 94 losses in a year in which they expected to contend for a division title.
I might as well keep the “moralist” chain alive. Agree or be branded!
Tony La Russa, a convicted drunk driver who managed one of the most steroid-addled clubhouses in modern baseball history and today oversees an organization that at the trade deadline passed along to multiple organizations private medical information about a player it wanted to deal, spent Wednesday playing moralist, a role that suits him about as well as chief baseball officer for a major league franchise.
The impetus behind La Russa’s barrage of illogic was Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who called baseball a “white man’s sport” when asked why no ballplayer had emulated the protests of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Were La Russa not so fundamentally myopic, he may well have realized he is exactly the white man of whom Jones speaks. And the worst kind at that: an authoritarian happy to share his opinion but not respectful enough to allow others to use their platforms in the same fashion.
I can’t wait until Miller gets traded for 10 cents on the dollar, has a great year, and people kill the Diamondbacks front office for making another horrible trade.
If there is anybody feeling worse than the shell-shocked Pittsburgh Pirates this morning, it’s poor Shelby Miller.
The former Cardinals pitcher absorbed still another loss Tuesday, falling 5-2 to the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Miller (2-11, 6.89 earned-run average) allowed those five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The reeling Arizona Diamondbacks are now 4-12 in games he started this season.
“I’m struggling with the loss a little bit,” Miller told reporters after the game. “I’m just kind of tired of losing. It’s just not going good right now. I’m not worried about stuff-wise, just more worried about the outcome. Just trying to go out there and give our team an opportunity to win every time and it hasn’t been going the way I’ve wanted it to.”
odger Stadium had a healthy serving of boos reserved for Zack Greinke in his first start there since leaving for Arizona via free agency in the offseason. However, it was his former teammates who offered an even ruder welcome in a 10-2 Dodgers win on Monday night.
The Dodgers hit five homers off Greinke, a career high for the right-hander. Adrian Gonzalez got it started in the fourth with a two-run shot on a numbers-high fastball. Before the inning, Greinke had thrown three shutout innings, striking out five and allowing just a single.
The assumption to make, then, is that Goldschmidt possesses other qualities that manifest in his base-stealing success. He does. What Goldschmidt lacks in straight-line speed, he atones for with a combination of attributes that are tougher to measure, like his reaction time, his pattern-recognition skills, his opportunism, and his boldness. Let’s look at some examples of what we mean. Here’s Goldschmidt stealing second and third base off Noah Syndergaard:
Process and evaluation matter greatly in today’s game, particularly with so much money at stake. Yet, the act that defined the D-backs’ occasional penchant for rash decision-making – the signing of Greinke as a $206.5 million free agent – was authored not by La Russa or Stewart, but by Kendrick.
So now what? The dismissals of La Russa and Stewart would amount to another abrupt turn, even if Kendrick determines that the moves are justified. Again: Kendrick is the owner; he can do whatever he wants. I’d just like to hear him explain how he is going to make the D-backs to a more efficient, coherent organization.
““So what’s next for the Diamondbacks? The owner and the CEO are the same. Will they stay old school? Will they go outside-the-box? Will they hire someone who’s got a series of impressive degrees and worked in a baseball front office? Will they go purely sabermetric? Or will they stay where they are and augment La Russa with someone he knows and trusts, like Walt Jocketty?
Any guesses about their future might be accurate because the Diamondbacks have tried just about everything. There’s no reason to believe they’ll make any alterations to that haphazard arrangement now and, judging by their somewhat bizarre history, it’s liable to work.”“
Miller can’t complain. Well, he can, but I wouldn’t be sympathetic.
With Shelby Miller scheduled to make at least one more start with Triple-A Reno, it appears the Diamondbacks, whether they intended to or not, will gain an extra year of club control over the right-hander.
Miller, according to sources, has three years, 133 days of major-league service time. Assuming he isn’t promoted to the big leagues Thursday, the most days he could accrue the rest of the season is 38. That would bring him to three years, 171 days, which would be just one short of the number needed to be credited with a full year of service.
In that event, it would mean the soonest Miller could become eligible for free agency is after 2019; he would be eligible for arbitration in each of the next three seasons, assuming he spends the requisite time on the major-league roster in those years.
I haven’t liked most of the stuff the Diamondbacks have done in La Russa’s time but firing them now says more about the owner’s problems than the La Russa and Stewart front office.
In a rare case of agreement, I’m actually with LaRussa and Stewart on the idea that they shouldn’t be fired simply because the team performed badly in 2016. The results of one season, whether positive or negative, don’t provide enough information about the quality of the decisions made, and especially not the quality of the decision makers.
But I think the Diamondbacks should clean house anyway.
Diamondbacks ownership is strongly considering making sweeping front-office changes, firing some of the most respected men in the game.
If owner Ken Kendrick and president Derrick Hall fire chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and his staff, including general manager Dave Stewart and assistant GM De Jon Watson, the D’backs will be changing GMs for the seventh time in just 11 years.
Stewart and Watson will have been given all of 23 months to turn around the franchise.
Please, it’s time for Kendrick and the rest of the ownership group to look in the mirror.
It’s insane to fire them after just one crummy season, and the dismal early returns of a trade gone wrong.
La Russa paused when asked what he thought of the industry reaction. He said he understands the attention the trade received, particularly since the club had given up another first-round pick, pitcher Touki Toussaint, earlier in the year. But he questions the perception that everyone in baseball disliked it for the Diamondbacks.
“How many front offices, if you polled the other 29, how many would have questioned it or said it was a bad deal?” La Russa asked. “At the same time that we were hearing the criticisms, I was also hearing from people that I knew personally saying, ‘Hey, man, we know where you were coming from. We were interested in Shelby, as well.’
“I would always like to know who criticizes it. There are some people that I have a ton of respect for and there are others I don’t have the same level of respect. If it’s somebody I have big levels of respect, then I would be bothered. If it’s not, then I’m not.”
Arizona Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick is said to be “upset” and “embarrassed” about the team’s performance this season, at a time when the club’s very famous and accomplished top baseball operations executives, who include Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa and former pitching great Dave Stewart, have contract decisions coming due.
While Kendrick’s alleged current mood isn’t necessarily determinative, and the official word is that no decisions have been made yet, it seems a little unusual the higher-ups don’t seem ready to say where they stand yet on their baseball people, with decisions due in less than two weeks in a couple cases. Beyond that, team president Derrick Hall suggests they may not be ready at the end of this month, when at least general manager Stewart and his top lieutenant De Jon Watson, have 2017 option triggers due.
“Nothing’s been decided. It will be an evaluation,” Hall said.
No mistake has loomed larger than the constant stream of errors around Cuban right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez. The brand-new front office reached to sign him for $8 million after the 2013 season, even though it appeared that he was priced by other teams at about one-tenth that number. The Diamondbacks didn’t understand the international bonus pool rules, and thus were unaware they would have to pay an $8 million penalty on top of Lopez’s bonus AND would be prohibited from signing any July 2 free agents for the next two signing periods until after Lopez’s deal was official….
The Lopez disaster had a ripple effect a few months later, when the team packaged 2014 first-round pick Touki Toussaint, a very high-upside but raw teenage pitching prospect, with the injured Bronson Arroyo in a “Weekend at Bernie’s” pairing that allowed Arizona to shed much of Arroyo’s dead money, but at the cost of a significant prospect.
Stewart’s unfamiliarity with the rules hasn’t just applied to the international pools. According to multiple sources, in early 2015 he tried to make a trade with another team that would have violated MLB rules, and the GM of the other team had to explain to him that such a move was not allowed.
D-backs outfielder David Peralta will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist Thursday morning in Phoenix.
Peralta is currently on the disabled list for the third time this season and it is the second time he has been on it as a result of his wrist. Peralta initially injured the wrist the final week of the 2015 season, and at the time, it was thought that rest and rehab would be enough to avoid surgery.