Dave Dombrowski is finalizing a deal to take over as president of baseball operations for the Philadelphia Phillies, ending their seek for a high govt with one of the completed of his era, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Whereas Dombrowski had indicated he deliberate on spearheading the initiative for a bunch of traders to deliver a significant league group to Nashville, the Phillies, after struggling to discover a high baseball operations official, redoubled efforts to recruit Dombrowski and in latest days satisfied him to take over the foundering franchise, sources mentioned.
Following a five-year rebuild, the Phillies signed outfielder Bryce Harper and traded for catcher J.T. Realmuto earlier than the 2019 season to be the fulcrums for a brand new period. Within the two seasons since, the Phillies have completed fourth and third within the Nationwide League East.
With Realmuto a free agent, the Phillies’ farm system thought of among the many backside third in baseball and questions on possession’s willingness to spend after claiming it misplaced almost $150 million in 2020, one thing must give with the hiring of Dombrowski, whose swashbuckling, big-spending methods have exemplified his success.
The Athletic first reported that the hiring was imminent.
Dombrowski, 64, received a championship as architect of Boston‘s 2018 World Collection championship group however was fired only a yr later amid a disappointing 2019. After starting his profession with the Chicago White Sox in 1978, Dombrowski frolicked as normal supervisor of the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers.
He received a World Collection ring with the Marlins in 1997 and helped assemble their 2003 championship group, though he left the franchise in 2001 for Detroit. There he helped take the Tigers from a 43-win catastrophe in 2003 to 2 World Collection appearances inside a decade.
Dombrowski, who was employed by Boston in August 2015, had embraced the Pink Sox’s championship-or-bust mandate and used the group’s ample farm system to amass star gamers and construct a go-for-broke main league roster. His hiring of Alex Cora, trades for pitchers Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, and signings of J.D. Martinez and David Price supplemented a homegrown core to ship the group’s fourth championship in 15 seasons.
It was not sufficient to maintain his job. Regardless of returning virtually the entire very important contributors to 2018’s championship, Boston stumbled by the 2019 season and was in a tenuous place going ahead due to monetary commitments made beneath Dombrowski.
Philadelphia finds itself in not fairly the identical monetary straits. Harper is signed by 2031, and Zack Wheeler — whom the Phillies had advised groups they may take into account buying and selling till proprietor John Middleton explicitly mentioned they would not following a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney — is coming into the second season of a big-money, five-year deal.
Any deal for Realmuto, who is taken into account the perfect catcher in baseball, would exceed $100 million in whole. Philadelphia might conceivably pivot to free agent James McCann, whom Dombrowski drafted whereas in Detroit.
Dombrowski additionally should cobble collectively a bullpen out of the ruins left behind from 2020, when Phillies relievers posted a 7.06 ERA over 186 innings. Simply how a lot leeway Middleton offers Dombrowski financially is prone to alter the trajectory of a group that, talentwise, has clearly fallen behind division champion Atlanta — and, arguably, the Marlins, New York Mets and Washington Nationals, too.
The Phillies’ greatest prospect, Alec Bohm, starred as a rookie final season and, alongside Harper and Rhys Hoskins, is a part of a consultant core. Their next-best prospect, Spencer Howard, is prone to be a part of their rotation. Leveraging a farm system, as Dombrowski is wont to do, might be a purpose for the longer term greater than the current.