Phillies Rumors: Dave Dombrowski would have interest if front office is overhauled

Veteran executive Dave Dombrowski isn’t currently with a team. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies have taken longer than expected to decide on the future of manager Gabe Kapler, which has made some wonder whether front office changes are being mulled.

In an interview with Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic Wednesday, The Athletic‘s Jayson Stark said that Dave Dombrowski – who has led front offices in Montreal, Miami, Detroit and Boston – would have interest in coming to the Phillies if owner John Middleton decides to clean house in the front office.

Dombrowski was fired by the Red Sox in September, less than a year after winning the World Series in 2018. He had been Boston’s president of baseball operations since August of 2015 after spending nearly 14 seasons with the Detroit Tigers as president of baseball operations and general manager.

Stark mentioned that Middleton “[…] has been picking the brains of people outside the organization,” trying to gather as much information as he can before making any decisions on the future of the current power structure. However, Stark does not think that Middleton will ultimately decide to blow up the front office and noted that Dombrowski would only come to Philly under the circumstance that Middleton cleaned house, saying that “he’s not coming here to work under Andy MacPhail.”

Both Klentak and MacPhail reportedly received three-year extensions, Klentak’s coming this March and carrying through the end of the 2022 season and MacPhail’s coming during the 2017 season and lasting through 2021. However, the 2019 season was a difficult one for the Phillies after high expectations heading in, which makes you wonder whether Middleton has changed his mind on what he wants out of his lead front office executives.

The Phillies moving on from Klentak and MacPhail would certainly come as a surprise, but Stark mentioned that an option like Dombrowski would make sense to help build Middleton an instant winner. Dombrowski helped to build a Tigers team that made two World Series appearances and won four straight American League Central titles from 2011-14, and a Red Sox team that won three straight American League East titles from 2016-18, including the 2018 World Series.

The trade-off is that Dombrowski left the Tigers saddled with undesirable contracts. Miguel Cabrera, 36, posted a -0.3 fWAR in 2019 and is owed $124 million over the next four years. That was among the poor deals Dombrowski signed players to in Detroit. The Red Sox, meanwhile, might like a mulligan on the five-year/$145 million deal that they signed LHP Chris Sale to in March. They also face an uncertain future with former American League MVP Mookie Betts, who can become a free-agent after 2020.

But the Phillies have not made the playoffs since 2011, and Middleton, who has repeatedly expressed his desire for his team to win, could make a move like this to bring in the established Dombrowski in hopes of winning now.


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  1. Tom Brandt

    October 3, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Please please please Mr Middleton….That’s all I got.

  2. Lefty

    October 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Please just say NO! Those that believe Ruin Tommorrow Jr destroyed the farm system, that’s nothing compared to what this guy did to the Tigers. I agree about the undesirable contracts too. (Prince Fielder’s deal was WAY more team crippling than Ryan Howard’s) This guy is a tornado that brings championship caliber teams to the brink of destruction, gets fired, then does it to the next team. Please pass on him.

  3. SportsFan0000

    October 11, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Donbrowski built the Expos star studded team and farm system with the best record in baseball and World Series bound before the MLB strike.

    Then, Dombrowski built the expansion Marlins into a WS Champion in record time.

    Then, Dombrowski, at direction of ownership, tore down the Marlins with trades and built the next Marlins Championship core that won another WS title after he left for Detroit.

    With Expos and Marlins Dombrowski was on lower budgets.
    With the Tigers and Red Sox, Dombrowski received ownership mandates to “win now” and “pull out all the stops” and that he did.

    The Tigers had their best run in their modern history under Dombrowski (2006-2015).

    Red Sox won a franchise record 108 games and a World Series title in 2018 with Dombrowksi.

    To be fair, Dombrowski was against some of those large contracts.
    Scott Boros went around Dombrowski to Tigers Owner Mike Illitch and pitched Fielder and a few others that Dombrowski would not have signed.
    Tigers Owner, Mike Illitch, made some of those big contract deals on his own and told Dombrowski later.

    If Phillies want to win, future Hall of Fame Executive Dave Dombrowski will get them to the World Series there is not doubt in my mind.
    Then, then. the players have to produce.
    Dombrowksi cannot hit, pitch or field…

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