A shock wave hit Major League Baseball when Dave Dombrowski was fired by the 2018 World Champion Boston Red Sox.
BREAKING: Dave Dombrowski is out as president of the Boston Red Sox. Assistant general manager Eddie Romero will take over as head of baseball operations.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 9, 2019
Who know’s why he was fired but some of the reasons could include:
- Overpaying to re-sign Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi
- Emptying the farm to win now
Those were my first thoughts. Then an article in Sports Illustrated by Tom Verducci gets down to the probable real reason:
Most people were shocked. But here’s the deal: the reasons the Red Sox hired Dombrowski no longer existed. What they need now, at least in the vision of owner John Henry, is a process-oriented architect who can steer the franchise efficiently through a difficult transition toward its next championship team. That person was not the 63-year-old Dombrowski. – Tom Verducci
There are some teams that have a well defined and successful process-oriented system. One of those teams is the Dodgers. The process-oriented system first was started by Stan Kasten when he became a part-owner and president. Everything started to round into shape when they hired Andrew Friedman after 2014 and gave him a five year / $35M contract. Oh, by the way, that contract expires after this season. Would the Red Sox try to bring Friedman to Boston?
The Red Sox Should Consider Friedman
Anyone worried that the Red Sox make a play for Andrew Friedman? His contract ends this season, last I heard.
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) September 9, 2019
Almost any team could use the talents of Andrew Friedman. He built a winner out of the small-market Tampa Rays and has helped build the Dodgers into annual threats to win the World Series. He has a vision for building a winner and has helped put people in place from the highest levels of the Major League club down to the Rookie League staffs. It has taken a long time to build an organization with everyone on the same page but Friedman has helped get the Dodgers to that point. They currently challenge for the championship yet have had a top Minor League system for many years running.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) February 28, 2019
While implementing his vision of building a sustained winner Andrew Friedman has withstood the pressures to deviate from his plan. He’s held on to players like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Will Smith, Dustin May and Gavin Lux during the past five Trade Deadlines. Holding on to players with lower contracts allows the team to have some cheap and talented players to mix with some higher priced veterans. This mix allows them to have a very deep team that can withstand many injuries, yet still contend.
What Happens Next?
Once the season ends, the Red Sox will not need to ask for permission to negotiate with Andrew Friedman. It has been surprising to me that there hasn’t been any information leaking out about the Dodgers working on retaining Friedman. He is one of the most valuable assets in baseball and the Dodgers don’t have to worry about luxury taxes for Friedman. However, it would be shocking if Friedman left. Here are some reasons I think he will stay with the Dodgers:
- He has a young family and uprooting them would be monumental
- The Dodgers are a perennial contender but he’s not enjoyed the fruits of a World Championship yet
- If he sticks around for another few years and they win multiple World Series he becomes a huge Hall of Fame candidate
- Money should be no object for the Dodgers
Of course, we don’t know how Friedman’s family likes LA. We don’t know if he has career goals that could help sway him to another team.
It seems Andrew Friedman is happy in Los Angeles and that the Dodgers’ ownership is happy with him. They will draw 3.9 million fans this year and he’s kept their salary structure from having to pay a luxury tax the last two seasons. He’s helped to put a great system in place that keeps producing excellent prospects despite picking low in the draft. I would be shocked if the Dodgers didn’t retain him for at least another five years but you never know.