Laurila: The Red Sox and Dave Dombrowski have parted ways; now what?

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on September 9, 2019, on longtime SABR member Dave Dombrowski:

The Red Sox parting ways with Dave Dombrowski — last night’s announcement came at the bewitching hour — is somewhat surprising. Then again, it really isn’t. Questions about his future have been circulating for a few months, and while a death knell has yet to sound on Boston’s season, any hopes of a postseason berth are now on life support. Last October is but a memory, and as the saying goes, “What have you done for me lately?”

To say it’s been a disappointing season for the defending World Series champions would be an understatement. But that’s only part of the reason Dombrowski, the team’s president of baseball operations since August 2015, was let go. What matters is the future, and much as when Ben Cherington was jettisoned four years ago, the time had come for new leadership. For now, assistant GMs Brian O’Halloran, Eddie Romero Jr., and Zack Scott, along with Senior Vice President Raquel Ferreira, are expected to fill that role on an interim basis.

The extent to which Dombrowski and Red Sox ownership were no longer on the same page is unknown as of this moment. More may be learned when the involved parties address the media (though the team has elected not to hold a press conference regarding the decision), but even then questions will remain unanswered. In all likelihood, we’ll be left to speculate as to whether loggerheads had been reached with the important near-term personnel decisions that will shape the team’s future. Based on his track record, Dombrowski would presumably be averse to anything resembling a rebuild, while his two predecessors — Cherington and Theo Epstein — placed a high premium on player development and building from within. That divergence is reflected in Boston’s farm system rankings; the Red Sox system is currently dead last.

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Originally published: September 11, 2019. Last Updated: September 11, 2019.