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Red Sox could promote Mike Hazen to GM under Dave Dombrowski

The Sox won't necessarily go outside the organization to find their new general manager.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox need a new general manager, as Ben Cherington resigned when new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski came in. Given names like Frank Wren and Dan O'Dowd were tossed around when Dombrowski first showed up, the expectation was that someone from outside the organization would take over the position eventually. According to Peter Gammons, though, that's not a definite by any means, as current assistant general manager Mike Hazen is a "stronger candidate than some realize."

Hazen originally became the assistant GM when Cherington's ascension to the GM role opened it up after the 2011 season. He was formerly the vice president of player development and scouting and was the director of player development for five years before that. He has interviewed for GM jobs in other organizations such as the Padres and the Dodgers, but those jobs went to A.J. Preller and Farhan Zaid, respectivelyi. He's in line for his own turn in the GM chair, and, unlike Cherington, isn't in the position to immediately turn down working under Dombrowski: working as a GM with final say belonging to Dombrowski is a step up for Hazen, whereas for Cherington, it was akin to a demotion.

Hazen would work well as the bridge Dombrowski needs to the rest of a front office that isn't expected to have significant turnover. As he said when arriving on the Boston scene, he's not there to blow up the roster or farm system or front office, but to guide them instead. Hazen is familiar with the organization, player or executive or scout or otherwise, and would be a valuable asset for Dombrowski even as a rookie GM.

There is no guarantee he takes the role, of course, as he could still be a highly useful member of the front office even if he remained as an assistant GM. Given he's likely to be a future GM somewhere down the line, though, he might as well get his first crack at it in Boston rather than go for a face more familiar to Dombrowski like Wren.

In a way, this also helps make the idea of Cherington stepping down more believable. Oftentimes in the sports world, you'll get an executive or manager resigning rather than get fired, but Boston's ownership and Dombrowski made sure to point out on multiple occasions than Cherington had not been pushed out, even though they knew there was a risk he'd take off with the hiring of a president of baseball operations. Going to Cherington's number one guy -- the one he worked with even before he was a general manager, the one who he promoted to work even closer to him once he got that gig -- as the next GM only strengthens the idea that Cherington walked away on his own and wasn't forced out.

Maybe that's just hopeful conjecture, but it makes sense given the stated mission of Dombrowski and Red Sox ownership. We'll see if Hazen actually gets the gig, but it's good to see that those already in Boston aren't getting immediately passed over in favor of someone who has already had their chance as a GM.