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ESPN’s Jeff Passan: D-backs’ Hazen sees things through to the end

(Photo by Katie Woo | Cronkite News)

Arizona Diamondbacks fans have held their breath this week after the Boston Red Sox fired general manager Dave Dombrowski.

ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday that D-backs GM and former Red Sox executive Mike Hazen’s possible departure is not definite.

“Mike Hazen is a really principled guy who likes to see things through to the end,” Passan said. “This doesn’t precluded him from going to Boston, the emotional connection is there, but its not and open and shut case.

“He should be number one on the Red Sox’s target list, he is the right guy for that job, but I wouldn’t say it’s a done deal if they want him. I think it will be a very hard decision to leave behind Arizona. The Diamondbacks are good now, but they will be really good for a while.”

Hazen grew up just southeast of Boston and worked in the Red Sox organization for over a decade. But, he is in the process of trying to build a contender in the Valley, something that may be hard to let go.

In less than three years, Hazen has already made a lot of moves that have paid dividends since being hired by Arizona.

His trade for former Detroit slugger J.D. Martinez made the D-backs very dangerous in 2017.

After that, he extended infielder Ketel Marte, a move that looks brilliant now that he has broken out this season.

Hazen’s retooling ahead of 2019 has worked thus far, as Arizona is in the thick of the National League Wild Card chase even after trading franchise center pieces Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke for assets.

Despite the success Hazen has brought, Passan pointed out that his possible departure would not crush the D-backs.

“If he leaves, in all likely hood, either Jared porter or Amiel Sawdaye (assistant general managers) will take over and both of them have been very important in building the D-backs to where they are,” Passan said. “I don’t think the Diamondbacks success rests only on the shoulders of Mike Hazen. I think they built something that goes beyond one person. That being said he is a good leader and they are better with him than without him.”

Amid the rumors of Hazen leaving, the D-backs are back to fending off rumors of relocation.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that the D-backs signed an undisclosed deal with Las Vegas a year ago, so speculation has brewed about what that means since the D-backs’ contract with Maricopa County allows it to explore moving to other cities.

“On a list of teams that potentially could move, the D-backs aren’t in the top couple,” Passan said. “The facts that conversations have supposedly taken place is worrisome and something that needs to be rectified. You want to know that you’ll have a tam here. I see no reason why they should move. Arizona is a really good place to have a team.”

D-backs Interviews and Segments