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Red Sox Hire Dave Dombrowski to Turn Things Around

The last-place Boston Red Sox made a kaleidoscopic shift in how they do business, hiring former Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski as the president of baseball operations while Theo Epstein protégé Ben Cherington decided to leave the general manager’s position he had been offered to keep.

The team made it official at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Dombrowski does not embrace the Billy Beane-Bill James obsession with advanced metrics and analytics as Epstein and Cherington do, which makes his hiring somewhat surprising, since BoSox owner john Henry used that mode of thinking to accumulate his wealth, and once even hired James as a baseball adviser. But Dombrowski did work for Henry as his general manager when Henry owned the Florida Marlins.

“I want to thank John and Tom for this opportunity,” Dombrowski said in a Red Sox release. “Although I did have other potential options within baseball, there was no option that stood out as clearly as the chance to come to Boston and win with the Red Sox. Boston is a baseball city like no other, and its history and traditions are unique in our game. I expressed to John and Tom that Boston would be my absolute top choice, and am honored to have the chance to serve Red Sox Nation.”

The turbulence surrounding BoSox management derives from the team’s erratic performance since 2008; the team has only reached the post-season once in that period, albeit winning a World Series, and endured last-place finishes in 2012 and 2014. In the last month, the BoSox admitted Red Sox president Larry Lucchino would be leaving at the end of the 2015 season and manager John Farrell had to leave after announcing he had lymphoma.

Sports Illustrated reports Dombrowski should have plenty of money to spend; the Red Sox have ranked fifth or higher in year-end payroll since 2001. But the numerous prospects, including shortstop Xander Bogaerts (22), outfielders Mookie Betts (22), Jackie Bradley (25) Manuel Margot (20), and Rusney Castillo (28), infielders Travis Shaw (25), Rafael Devers (18) and Yoan Moncada (20), catcher Blake Swihart (23), outfielder and pitchers Henry Owens (23) and Matt Barnes (25), face the daunting challenge of taking jobs from high-salaried players such as Dustin Pedroia, who has six years left at $84 million, Pablo Sandoval (four years, $75 million), Rick Porcello (four years, $82 million), and Hanley Ramirez (three years, $66 million).

Dombrowski’s resume leaves little doubt he can produce a winner; he built the 1997 Marlins into World Series champion, acquired the players who later won the world Series in 2003 before he left the team, and brought the Tigers to two pennants and four consecutive division titles.

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