Sometimes job security in sports is similar to a roller coaster at an amusement park. The most recent example of that came Sunday night with Dave Dombrowski.
The president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox has officially been fired as noted by Chris Cotillo. Despite a World Series title and a contract running through the 2020 season, financial issues have forced Dombrowski out of office. This all comes on the heels of a 10-5 loss to the New York Yankees.
BREAKING: Dave Dombrowski fired as president of baseball operations.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 9, 2019
Boston Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski
When it’s all boiled down, it’s no surprise that Dombrowski took on the all-or-nothing mentality. Initially hired in 2015, Dombrowski was destined to take the Red Sox back to the promised land. He did so in the same manner that he did with the Florida Marlins back in 1997 — winning a World Series title. Dombrowski also captured a pair of World Series appearances with the Montreal Expos and Detroit Tigers.
Dombrowski has been one of the few individuals to send three teams to the World Series. Ever since his induction into the Red Sox ball club, Dombrowski has seemingly done exactly what Boston executives wanted. Under his leadership, the Red Sox acquired David Price, Chris Sale, and Craig Kimbrel, among others. His pursuit of the all-or-nothing theme led to Boston opening the 2019 season with the largest payroll in baseball. That number would end up to be $236 million.
That included a $217 million deal for Price, who still has three years and $96 million left on the books. Nathan Eovaldi was granted a $68 million deal over four years as well. Dombrowski was also instrumental in bringing in Sale and his now $145 million extension that begins next season.
Where It’s Gone Wrong
On the initial surface of it all, it looked like Dombrowski was perfect in his pursuits. He won three consecutive division titles for the first time in franchise history. He also orchestrated a franchise-best 108 wins, the highest amount for a World Series victor.
However, with all that money on the books comes a certain level of expectations. Signing all those players to large contracts has put the Red Sox in a financially tight situation going forward. Not only might Boston not make the postseason despite the largest payroll in the game, but future deals could be hampered. Between Eovaldi, Sale, and Price, the Red Sox will now be shelling out $79 million in each of the next three seasons.
The next three years could very well be huge, impactful years for the Red Sox. All those moves have benefits, but in crosshairs lies star player Mookie Betts. Betts is set to hit the free-agent market following the 2020 season. The expectation is that he is set to make far north of $25 million through arbitration. Now, that could very well be in jeopardy.
While the potential Betts situation is big, it’s not the only big potential financial blunder on the horizon. Four members of the Red Sox alone (Rick Porcello, Mitch Moreland, Steve Pearce, and Brock Holt) make up a combined $37.4 million, and all four are free agents this winter.
Along with all of that, the Red Sox aren’t sure who’s going to follow up Betts. It could possibly be Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and others. All of the trades made by Dombrowski have severely depleted Boston’s farm system to the point that just one Red Sox prospect ranks among the top 100 in baseball.
What Happens Now
While it’s been thought that Dombrowski was in trouble for a few weeks, it still comes as quite a shock that it would happen before the season concludes. Nevertheless, going forward it will be senior vice president Raquel Ferreira, along with assistant GM’s Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran, and Zack Scott to take the reigns. They will team up to lead the baseball operations department for the remainder of the season.
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