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Arizona boss Mike Hazen, former Red Sox GM, takes leave to care for his family

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen, shown in November 2019, departed the Red Sox front office to take the Arizona job after the 2016 season.
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen, shown in November 2019, departed the Red Sox front office to take the Arizona job after the 2016 season.Matt York/Associated Press

Arizona general manager Mike Hazen, who spent more than a decade with the Red Sox and rose to general manager under Dave Dombrowski, is taking a physical leave of absence from the team to be with his family.

Hazen’s wife, Nicole, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last July. The couple has four sons.

“First off, what I want to say, is that Nicole is doing OK,” Hazen said. “She’s grinding along. But being realistic about the journey we’re on right now, knowing what my job demands, and knowing the most important thing to me, this is demanding a percentage of my time that’s starting to creep into the ability for me to do [my job] here physically.”

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Later he added: “I had to be honest about where I needed to be physically more often than not.”

Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said he supports Hazen’s decision and that there is no timetable for the GM’s return.

Hazen departed the Red Sox in October 2016 to take the Diamondbacks post. Assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye, who went with Hazen from Boston to Arizona, will run day-to-day operations in regular consultation with him.

Hazen, who grew up in Abington and played baseball at Princeton, took a job in the Cleveland front office after a brief minor-league career. He joined the Red Sox as director of player development in 2006, rising to overseeing the farm system and amateur scouting in 2011, then to assistant general manager in 2012. He was promoted to GM following Ben Cherington’s firing in September 2015.

Arizona was an MLB-worst 20-43 entering play on Friday night.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.