Peter Abraham | On Baseball

Eddie Romero would be a wise choice to lead Red Sox, and other thoughts

Assistant general manager Eddie Romero (left) addressed the media during a news conference  at Fenway Park in June.
Assistant general manager Eddie Romero (left) addressed the media during a news conference at Fenway Park in June.Charles Krupa/AP/file/Associated Press

The Red Sox are expected to offer up more details about their front office changes Monday following the late-night ouster of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

In the meantime, here are a few thoughts:

■   Assistant general manager Eddie Romero, who has been with the team since 2006, would be a wise choice to take over. He has a background in scouting and player development and would work well with Alex Cora and the coaching staff.

His knowledge of the international market also is appealing, given how critical that source of talent has become.

Romero has the intelligence and personality to pull the organization together at what will be a critical time. His promotion would be well-received within the offices at Fenway Park.


If the Red Sox don’t make Romero their GM, it’s likely another team will.

But analytics chief Zack Scott should be strongly considered. The Sox also should inquire about Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen and Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey.

Hazen was with the Sox from 2006 to ’16 and is a Massachusetts native. Falvey is from Lynn and quickly put the Minnesota organization on the right track after his hiring in 2016.

Arizona executives Amiel Sawdaye and Jared Porter also would be attractive candidates, along with Yankees vice president Tim Naehring, a former Sox player.

■   It’s likely impossible to bring Theo Epstein back from the Cubs, at least this time around. But now that Larry Lucchino isn’t team president, it’s worth checking into. Epstein, a liberal Democrat, can’t be too thrilled working for the Ricketts family given their support, financial and otherwise, of President Trump.

It feels like the Cubs have run their course with their group. It’s at least worth asking.

■   Senior vice president Frank Wren, Dombrowski’s chief adviser, was not selected as part of the interim group of executives who will run baseball operations. So obviously he’s out. The same is probably true for Tony La Russa.


■  Mookie Betts said it doesn’t matter who is running the show, he wants what he considers his value to be and won’t budge. That’s his right. But part of what convinced Mike Trout to stay with the Angels was the relationship he had with GM Billy Eppler.

The new Boston GM, whoever that may be, has to gain Betts’s trust quickly. Betts may not be Trout, but he’s also not a player you just trade for prospects. He is on a path to be one of the best players in franchise history.

■   Dombrowski did what he was hired to do. He was decisive, he brought in prime talent, and he won the World Series before the window closed. After all the cautious steps by Ben Cherington, Dombrowski was the closer they needed at the time.

But the Red Sox also added to their analytics staff during his tenure, and their farm system is starting to bounce back. The notion that he was some out-of-touch old guy isn’t true.

However, the contract Dombrowski doled out to Chris Sale was rash. The Sox should have waited another year on the lefty given the longstanding concern about his mechanics. Now he’s out with an elbow injury that could ultimately require surgery.

The Sox have the highest payroll in baseball this season at approximately $236 million. You can’t finish in third place when ownership gives you that much to play with.


The Sox used to be smart and creative with little moves. Under Dombrowski, it felt like they hit everything with a sledgehammer. When that didn’t work, they had no other answers.

The Yankees, for all their injuries, had waves of low-cost replacements ready. The Sox lost Sale and David Price and are going with bullpen games and the recently unemployed Jhoulys Chacin.

■   Dombrowski’s handling of the bullpen this season never made a bit of sense. The Sox were smart not to overpay Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel. But they tried to replace 128 innings from those two pitchers with . . . Padres castoff Colten Brewer and more of Ryan Brasier?

The bullpen had a lot to do the slow start this season. Then the trade deadline came, and Dombrowski sat on his hands with the Sox still in contention.

■   The Red Sox are a huge, lucrative company that employs hundreds of people. But it’s also an insular group set in its ways. Dombrowski, for all his outward cheeriness, never fit in with the many holdovers from the Epstein/Cherington years.

To me, he always felt like an interim. He wanted a ring to cap his long career, and the Sox wanted to make the most of the opportunity they had. It worked out well for both sides.

Dombrowski will get paid for another season and eventually will get in the Hall of Fame. The Sox will get a younger GM and start ramping up to the next championship with more emphasis on player development.


■  There are only 19 games left to play. The first thing the Sox should do is officially shut down Price for the rest of the season. Do the same with relievers Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor, and Brandon Workman, too. They’ve pitched enough at this point.

■  The Sox made the playoffs three years in a row, won the World Series, and are on pace to win 86 games. Eighteen teams have worse records this season. That got Dombrowski fired. The next GM will be the fourth in 10 years.

It speaks to how out of control expectations are in Boston. Not just with the Sox, but with every team in town. It’s win a championship or else.

But Dombrowski knew that when he took the job. Now the person who follows him will get a nice press conference and pats on the back. Then the clock starts ticking.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.