Red Sox can cross former GM off candidate list after Hazen agrees to Arizona extension

The Red Sox can formally cross a really interesting identify off their record of candidates to go their baseball operations.

Hours after their first postseason win for the reason that 2017 National League Wild Card, the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to an extension with Mike Hazen.

Hazen’s earlier deal ran by way of 2024 with a membership possibility for 2025, however his contract is now assured by way of 2028, studies Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic. His assistant basic managers, Amiel Sawdaye and Mike Fitzgerald, additionally acquired extensions of the identical size.

With Hazen’s lengthy historical past in Boston – he spent 12 years with the Red Sox earlier than going to Arizona in October 2016 – he was instantly linked to his former group as soon as they fired Chaim Bloom in mid-September.

The Red Sox would’ve wanted the Diamondbacks’ permission to interview him, however their president and CEO, Derrick Hall, wasn’t fascinated with opening that door. So a lot in order that he revealed earlier extension discussions with Hazen, strongly suggesting what turned actuality on Wednesday.

A local of Weymouth and Abington, Hazen was a star participant at Princeton University. He had a quick minor-league profession within the San Diego Padres’ group earlier than an harm put him on a unique baseball path. In 5 years within the Cleveland group, he rose from intern to assistant director of participant improvement, earlier than becoming a member of the Red Sox as their director of participant improvement in February 2006. In September 2015, Dave Dombrowski appointed him Red Sox basic supervisor, changing Ben Cherington.

Hazen left for Arizona the next October. In his first season, the 2017 Diamondbacks went 93-69, their fourth-best regular-season file in franchise historical past, and clinched their first-ever Wild Card. They had three consecutive successful seasons in Hazen’s first three years on the helm, however beneath the earlier two-team, single-game Wild Card format, fell wanting the postseason in 2018 and 2019.

Unlike Hazen’s first Diamondbacks postseason group, which was filled with inherited expertise, this 12 months’s squad is one he constructed, largely from the bottom up. Through drafting, buying and selling, and savvy free-agent signings, Arizona is enjoying October baseball as soon as once more.

It’s no marvel the Red Sox can be fascinated with bringing Hazen again. Several of his draft picks at the moment are proficient Major Leaguers on his roster, and although his dangerous trades of Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke didn’t fairly pan out, he’s been keen to be aggressive in a approach that Bloom sometimes wasn’t. The erstwhile Red Sox govt drew repeated criticism for being too restrained in that regard, not keen to surrender sufficient to convey somebody to Boston, or asking for an excessive amount of in return for a participant.

When Hazen despatched his younger outfielder Daulton Varsho to Toronto final winter, he parted with an elite defender with some severe bat energy and 4 years of membership management. But in alternate, he received veteran outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and the Blue Jays’ No. 1 prospect (and Top 10 MLB prospect), catcher Gabriel Moreno. Hazen took a big danger, however already, the Diamondbacks are reaping their reward: playoff baseball.

The Red Sox must discover another person to take them again to the postseason; Hazen is already there.

Nasty Nate

Nathan Eovaldi continued dwelling as much as his postseason status on Wednesday afternoon, carrying a shutout into the seventh inning of the Rangers’ second Wild Card sport towards the Rays. The former Red Sox ace pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, and over 98 pitches, held the Tampa Bay bats to 6 hits, struck out eight, and didn’t subject a stroll. His profession postseason ERA improves to 2.90.

Eovaldi, who turned a Boston legend with a heroic aid efficiency in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, signed a two-year, $34 million contract with Texas final December.