Arizona Diamondbacks – Mike Hazen named GM

With the hiring of Mike Hazen as GM, Tony La Russa's role is not clearly defined. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
With the hiring of Mike Hazen as GM, Tony La Russa's role is not clearly defined. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Red Sox executive Mike Hazen was hired as the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks

While the timing was not terribly swift, the naming of Mike Hazen as the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized a sense of urgency.

Since previous GM Dave Stewart and field manager Chip Hale were dismissed two weeks ago, there appeared to be a “hurry call to the bullpen,” to get a qualified candidate board as quickly as possible. Stewart, Hale and Tony La Russa, the club’s chief baseball officer, many believed, were held accountable for a season of unfulfilled hopes and aspirations, and changes were inevitable

Now, Hazen becomes the second GM in three years, will outline his agenda and plans to bring the Diamondbacks up to a competitive level during a news conference scheduled for Monday morning in Chase Field.

Hazen arrives in the desert after 11 years in the Red Sox organization. As assistant GM to the Sox’ Dave Dombrowski, Hazen now has an opportunity to run his own show. After the Diamondbacks tweeted out Sunday afternoon they hired Hazen, the Boston Globe reported, “Hazen will be in a position of ultimate authority in Arizona’s decision-making structure.”

Not quite.

While rumors persist that La Russa’s sphere of influence will be greatly diminished under the Hazen regime, the role and use of power in the Diamondbacks’ hierarchy is to be determined.

“We feel very strongly that we have found the ideal candidate to lead our baseball operations,” said general managing partner Ken Kendrick in a statement released by the team. “Mike’s reputation throughout the game is impeccable, and his championship experience gives us great confidence in naming him to this position.”

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A native of Weymouth, Mass, Hazen, at 40-years-old, graduated from Princeton, and played four years of varsity baseball for the Tigers. Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1998 draft, Hazen hit .307 as a right-handed hitter in the rookie Pioneer League in 1998. The next year at class A Fort Wayne, he managed only a .203 average in 72 games, and retired shortly thereafter. A shoulder injury ended his playing days, and Hazen then the joined the Cleveland Indians in 2001 as an advanced scout. After two seasons as the Indians director of player development, he joined the Red Sox as a director of player development. He rose to the position of assistant GM in 2012, and now leaves his native New England for the desert.

Hazen’s portfolio includes a heavy dose of analytics and field experience. That was the ideal combination Kendrick and Derrick Hall, the team’s president, sought in their choice for general manager.

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While his first order of business is likely to hire a field manager, Hazen will quickly interact with his peers during the up-coming GM meetings Nov. 7-10 in Scottsdale.