Dave Dombrowski hire proves Phillies are in win-now mode

Former Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)
Former Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports) /

The Phillies do not hire Dave Dombrowski if they do not want to go ‘all in.’

To use the words of the soon-to-be former president of the Philadelphia Phillies Andy MacPhail, the organization’s newly hired president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, did not have to uproot in the middle of a pandemic. Yet, he chose to do just that — relocating to the City of Brotherly Love to work under Managing Partner John Middleton.

The two-time World Series champion executive with the Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox made it publicly known earlier this offseason that he was content being in Nashville as he tried to either bring a Major League Baseball relocation or expansion team to the city.

Yet, Dombrowski — who began his front office career in the late 1970s for the Chicago White Sox, before also working for the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Red Sox — chose a sixth front office executive spot in Philadelphia for his potential “last hurrah.”

“He wants that third ring and he will try to do it with the Phillies,” MLB Network analyst Ron Darling said Thursday evening. Darling’s colleague, Greg Amsinger does not believe the 64-year-old would take this job if he was not going to be able to spend and go for it all.

“I think you look at what precedent he has shown at his last two jobs with the Tigers and Red Sox,” Darling added. “He would always go the extra mile to keep them competitive, and would always get the extra player to make that team it’s best each and every night.

“I think that is what you will see.”

Dave Dombrowski is a better match for Phillies manager Joe Girardi.

The tandem between Dombrowski and Joe Girardi, on paper, seems to have a greater chance to succeed than had the more analytics-driven Matt Klentak remained as general manager.

The current makeup of the Phillies roster could drastically change now with Dombrowski, as he has proven to not be shy early on with his new organizations. For example, in July 1988 when Dombrowski was named Expos general manager, he made six trades within his first two months. While he likely will not match that figure in Philadelphia, expect him to work right away on key areas of need, particularly the bullpen.

“There are a glut of pitchers out there that are bullpen arms that [Dombrowski] could get and immediately change the bullpen into a strength for [Girardi], who was one of the best at maneuvering the bullpen if he has the pieces,” Darling said.

While having Dombrowski on board does not guarantee J.T. Realmuto re-signs, the odds certainly improve with him at the helm. Despite recent reports suggesting the Phillies might be hesitant to spend big this offseason amid a “financial crunch,” Darling does not envision the organization to operate this way and “pull back” now that they have Dombrowski.

“When he got rid of the team in Florida, that wasn’t really him, it was the owner,” Darling said. “Don’t be surprised if he starts signing people or making huge decisions [in Philadelphia].”

There is a lot to be excited for now with Dombrowski as the Phillies president of baseball operations. With the start of next season less than four months away, the clock is ticking, but the well-respected Dombrowski is surely up for the challenge.

Middleton once said he wants his World Series trophy back; Thursday’s Dombrowski hire is a great step toward making that a reality, sooner than later.

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