TORONTO- Dave Dombrowski is the most coveted free agent available as an MLB executive. Last Monday, the Detroit Tigers released Dombrowski’s contract as general manager and president of baseball operations. His contract was due to expire after this season, but Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch felt the need to make some changes within the front office, naming Al Aliva as the Tigers’ newest general manager.
This season, the Tigers are below .500 and will likely miss the postseason, a reoccurrence since 2010. Last week before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, Dombrowski made some major trades by shipping away David Price to the Toronto Blue Jays, Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets and Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates. These moves might have been a pre-calculated venture for Dombrowski.
The timing of Dombrowski’s departure was sudden but will be interesting going forward. He has been one of baseball’s most compelling and successful executives for almost two decades. In addition, he has a great track record with management, player development and building playoff contending teams. Now that Dombrowski is on the market, could he be the next President and CEO for the Blue Jays?
Dombrowski’s track record makes him a solid candidate. He has ties to Canada, starting off in player development with the Montreal Expos before taking over as GM in 1988. He helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series in 1997. In 2001, the Blue Jays interviewed Dombrowski for the GM role but he declined in favour of the Tigers in 2002. He has spent the last 13 seasons with the Tigers’ organization and since then has achieved 6 playoffs appearances, four AL Central titles, and a World Series championship.
The Blue Jays were looking for someone take over for Paul Beeston, who will retire after the this season. Over the last winter, the Blue Jays were heavily recruiting Baltimore Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette to be their next successor, but things fell apart.
However, the Blue Jays won’t be the only team in pursuit for Dombrowski. The Boston Red Sox need a new president and CEO to replace Larry Lucchino. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim need a new GM to replace Jerry Dipoto. There could be more job openings available once the season is over. Dombrowski earned $3 million a season with the Tigers, according to Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and he will definitely be looking for a high profile job with higher salary and full control of management.
If the Blue Jays are able to land the former Tigers GM, some other forces could take place. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos could get a contract extension since Dombrowski has a good working relationship with him. It is also quite possible that Dombrowski could strip away a 5-year contract policy to resign David Price.
Dombrowski is not going to be out of a job for long. No matter what, whoever attains him will get one of the most intelligent and coveted executives in all of baseball.