Until the Dodgers hire a general manager to work with new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, we are left to speculate about possible candidates for the job.
"We'll bring in as many good, dynamic people as we can," Friedman said on Friday. "I've talked to a lot of people about a lot of things."
One name that comes up quite a bit in the rumor mill in these general manager searches is Mike Hazen, currently the assistant general manager with the Red Sox.
Hazen is 38, 10 months older than Friedman and roughly in the same general age range as most of the other candidates mentioned so far, from 34-year-old Bryan Minniti — who has interviewed in Arizona and is reportedly the frontrunner for the Diamondbacks assistant GM job, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports — to 44-year-old Josh Byrnes, reportedly the favorite in Los Angeles.
Hazen has been with Boston for nine years, including the last three seasons as vice president and assistant general manager. The Red Sox describe Hazen's role as "assisting executive vice president and general manager Ben Cherington in several areas of major league operations, including player acquisitions, player evaluation, contract negotiations, major league, and pro scouting," which on its face sounds a lot like the potential role under Friedman in Los Angeles, other than the inflated title of general manager.
Then again, Hazen works alongside another assistant GM in Boston in Brian O'Halloran, who is more versed in the business side. Perhaps a move to Los Angeles would give Hazen more responsibility, if not more autonomy, in addition to title.
The primary expertise of Hazen is player development, spending three of his five years with the Indians as assistant director of player development, then his first five years with the Red Sox as director of player development, followed by a year in 2011 as Boston's VP of player development and amateur scouting before getting promoted to assistant GM.
Hazen's strength is in his experience in a top-tier market trying to simultaneously compete at the major league level and build the farm system, a model espoused by Friedman in his introductory press conference.
"Looking at what we want to do and build for the next three to five, seven, 10 years, we’re going to be relying on those young players to come up and be part of that core future," Hazen told Alex Speier of WEEI in November 2012. "That’s not to say we aren’t going to go out and get that star player to. It all comes down to the cost. At the time, the cost of that Adrian Gonzalez deal was what we felt like we should do at the time. It’s impossible to say that situation is going to present itself again."
Hazen is from Massachusetts and went to Princeton. He was an outfielder and was drafted by the Padres in the 31st round in 1998 but quit after two seasons to join the Indians scouting department.
He interviewed with the Padres for assistant GM after the 2009 season, and interviewed twice for the San Diego GM job this season that ultimately went to A.J. Preller.