Today, the Phillies officially made storied MLB executive Dave Dombrowski their first-ever President of Baseball Operations.
Most recently with the Boston Red Sox, with whom he secured his second World Series title, Dombrowski has also famously spent time with the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, and Detroit Tigers. Having captured (at least) a league pennant with three of the four organizations he’s run, Dombrowski looks to continue his fortune in the City of Brotherly Love.
A year removed from the glitz and glamour of the MLB landscape, the veteran executive aims to prove he can still hang with the big boys. In his introductory presser, Dombrowski hinted at a few traits and habits that could characterize his tenure in Philly. In this piece, I break down a few conversational nuggets that stood out to me the most.
A pending Realmuto Extension?
When asked if he had any talks about or plans of extending J.T Realmuto with the pre-existing front office, Dombrowski stated that he had nothing to say other than the organization loves Realmuto. The longtime executive pointed out that this wasn’t his free-agent rodeo, so he will likely practice patience as things play out.
Viewed as a win-now type of exec, one would think that Dombrowski’s hire would have to improve the likelihood of extending Realmuto, at least a little bit, but his comments leave the convo lingering.
Dave Dombrowski ha a Focus on Analytics
Dave Dombrowski emphasized a healthy blend of analytics and scouting in his introductory presser. The Chicago native stated that the team would ideally have a 50/50 usage split between the two essential practices, but was sure to mention his adoration for analytics.
Dombrowski highlighted spin rate and delivery angles as something he considers when scouting pitchers but didn’t expand much further than that on how big of role analytics will factor into decision-making.
His responses are to be expected, as virtually no team operates completely sans analytics, but it is nice to see that he is not the analytics nut that Klentak was during his time in the big chair.
Why is Klentak here?
Speaking of Klentak, when asked what reimagined role Klentak will adopt after being relieved of his general manager duties, Dombrowski admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure yet but is excited by Klentak’s commitment to the team.
“I’ve known Matt for years. I have a great deal of respect for him,” Dombrowski said of Klentak. “He said he would help however he possibly could.”
Yikes. Sure sounds like Klentak is nothing more than an afterthought in the front office that Dombrowski doesn’t have a clear role for. Things could change, as Dombrowski is within days of hiring, but his latest comments don’t bode well for Klentak.
Is the farm system safe under Dave Dombrowski?
It’s no secret that the longtime executive Dombrowski doesn’t mind dipping into the farm system in order to make a blockbuster trade happen. The famous Miguel Cabrera and Chris Sale trades come to mind as times Dombrowski came off a haul to land the stars he wanted.
Unfortunately for him, the Phillies boast one of the most porous prospects pipelines around, so the freshly-minted president of baseball ops may not have as much ammo to work with as he usually does.
With that being said, Dombrowski did state that evaluations of prospects are a little bit more liquid and case-to-case as we are led to believe, and is hopeful that the Phillies will be able to produce young talent over the years.
As far as trades go, Dombrowski didn’t exactly mince words while admitting he likes a trade or two.
“I hate to tell my philosophy because you never want to tip your hand,” the new Phils hire joked. “The question is which young players do you trade?”
Dombrowski went on to explain the importance of weighing the cost/reward of trading prospects and cautioned that the Phillies would likely only do so if the timing was right.
The Phillies are clearly more than just a player or two away from contention and Dombrowski was the first to admit that in his presser. So, it seems as though the prospects will be safe for now, as the Phils try to assess what they need.
Working with former foe Joe
Dombrowski acknowledged the irony in teaming up with former rival Joe Girardi, whom he battled during their infamous Yankees-BoSox days, but says he is excited to team up with him in Philly.
“He’s a very good manager. … Good baseball man, very intelligent … a championship type of manager,” Dombrowski raved.
Owners of the second-longest playoff drought in the league, Philly faithfuls are hoping that Dombrowski’s evaluation as a championship manager rings true. Quickly approaching a decade without a playoff appearance, the Phillies are hopeful they’ve found their savior in Dombrowski.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire