Arizona Diamondbacks Notebook – Mike Hazen Completes First Week

The new Arizona Diamondbacks general manager started working towards his ultimate goal, and that is to bring Arizona a World Series championship

On Sunday, Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Mike Hazen completed his first week on the job.

His hiring received wide-ranging praise and respect, and many around baseball are wondering what direction the Princeton graduate will take the Diamondbacks.

Hazen put his first week in perspective.

“Hopefully, it’s going to be a strong team environment where we have dynamic, forward-thinkers mixed with guys who know the game and bring different skill sets,” Hazen told The Arizona Republic. “Hopefully, it will be collaborative and an open environment where people in scouting and player development and others in baseball operations can challenge each other on assumptions and come to some good decisions.”

Even when changes occur, Hazen is impressed with the Red Sox’ organizational continuity. He could approach his new job this way.

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reported that Hazen already reached out to Assistant General Manager Bryan Minniti, Farm Director Mike Bell and Scouting Director Deric Ladnier.

“There are a lot of good things here,” Hazen told MLB..com. “Many things [here] have been done well and make your assessments and your tweaks over time.”

Before hiring Hazen, Arizona Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick and President and CEO Derrick Hall interviewed Minniti and Bell.

Possible Front Office Additions?

Hazen could have stayed in Boston, a job that afforded him a great deal of stability. Yet, he answered to call and came to Arizona.

With the Diamondbacks, Hazen has full “autonomy” over the baseball operations department, a luxury he did not possess as the Boston Red Sox assistant G.M. Last season, Hazen reported to President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombroski.

“Clearly in the case of Mike, everybody agrees he’s the right guy, so you have to let him do his job,” President and Hall told to MLB.com. “That’s the goal.”

If Hall is telling the truth, Hazen could lure former co-workers away their current positions.

Last Sunday, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com mentioned three possibilities: Red Sox pro scouting director Gus Quattlebaum, assistant GM Brian O’Halloran and vice president of international and amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye as candidate for possible jobs within the Diamondbacks’ organziation.

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Finding a Field Manager

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Hazen anticipates interviewing five to ten candidates but that process is still playing out.

“As much as we want to move through the process as quick as possible, we don’t have an exact list yet for candidates,” Hazen said. “But hopefully in the next week or so, we’ll be able to do that.”

Hazen intends on finding “a long-term leader for the franchise.”

“You know how important it is to have a guy that you look down and respect every day, for 162, that has your back, that is smart and knowledgeable and knows how to manage, but also connects with players,” Hazen said speaking to Mike Lowell on MLB Tonight.

Finding continuity, not just in the front office, but also in the dugout is important.

Bruce Bochy and Mike Matheny are great examples. Both have been with their organizations for a number of years and have sustained success.

Many have anointed Red Sox Bench Coach Torey Lovullo the “front-runner,” in the Diamondbacks managerial opening.

On Saturday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hinted that the Diamondbacks could interview Los Angeles Angels first base coach Gary DiSarcina.

“DiSarcina was Mike Hazen’s Pawtucket manager at one point. Would Hazen be interested in him as the Diamondbacks’ manager?” asked Cafardo.

Other perceived candidates include Reno Aces manager Phil Nevin and Braves first Base coach Eddie Perez.