Last week, the Diamondbacks hired former Red Sox “GM” Mike Hazen from the Red Sox organization to be their lead baseball personnel man. This week, he will be joined by one of his co-workers there with former Red Sox Vice President of International and Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye. Sawdaye has accepted the offer to become the Senior Vice President and Assistant GM in Arizona, which was De Jon Watson’s job for the last two seasons. He was weighing whether to stay in Boston as the GM in title only or take a similar role out in Arizona.
Sawdaye joined the Red Sox front office in 2002 as an intern. He worked his way up to Director of Amateur Scouting, a position he held from 2010-2015. Notable players that he drafted in his tenure that have become part of the Red Sox core include Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and Andrew Benintendi. With that strong drafting, the Red Sox have built one of the strongest farm systems in baseball, anchored by a future superstar in Yoan Moncada who hit a HR off of Dbacks prospect Anthony Banda in the Future’s Game in July. In 2016, he got promoted to the aforementioned position.
Sawdaye came up from the same background as Hazen did, scouting and player development. It’s not too surprising that for the Assistant GM job that the Diamondbacks chose someone that Hazen is clearly comfortable working with. With the Diamondbacks potentially looking at changes in the scouting and player development department. Farm director Mike Bell might not be sticking around, since most GM candidates that don’t get the job tend to not stick around for too long.
It appears that the front office changes will be more sweeping than I previously anticipated. Long time executive Bob Gebhard, who has been with the team since 2005, is out along with Director of Analytics Dr. Ed Lewis. If it’s a case where the club realized that a fresh and different perspective might be the way to go, then I welcome that type of change. I’m curious to see if the team hires any replacements in those departments and who.
The raid on Boston’s organization is probably not over yet either. The Diamondbacks haven’t reached out to Red Sox Bench Coach Torey Lovullo for the managerial job yet, instead prioritizing filling out the assistant GM job. Now that’s over with, the team will likely start the process of finding a manager. Lovullo, Eddie Perez, and Phil Nevin are three names linked to the job already. Lovullo is the favorite to land the job due to his Boston connections and has experience managing in the big leagues already with a 28-20 mark as the interim when John Farrell went treatments for lymphoma to close the 2015 season.