WEEI>On Demand>>Mike Hazen, Red Sox Assistant GM, joins Mut and Merloni to discuss the team’s approach to free agency

Mike Hazen, Red Sox Assistant GM, joins Mut and Merloni to discuss the team’s approach to free agency

Dec 11, 2013|

Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Like case the Red Sox this GM joining two other letter Ian greats of the might want to know that that's one that's on. Like you get a AM BC repeat talking about your team's offseason grade in marketing and he. Apparently he had enough. With a comfortable there like that -- Villanova. Is a different at years past that looked outside -- yet -- -- -- -- -- it -- and a much it would mean it's not. We are a lot of time and a and a big conference room there and and each other -- to it there. We. You know throw around a lot of ideas it's sort of beat brainstorming session. And then we'll kind of throw those ideas off the bench and the you know. He'll say yes -- no. -- and go to the other room maybe make a phone call to another GM. Agents obviously you know now with what we're doing free agency. So sort of dual front there. And I don't combatants and yet he like that idea if there's something here or he blew -- the water no chance so we go back to -- on board and nothing puts a little bit different with us this year as -- years past -- the three moves we've made prior to. The winter meetings. What presents team -- Napoli. No we eliminated a lot of things we had to do like last year when I mean we did a lot of things that we had to do at the winter meetings. So I think we're more it's -- city -- more opportunistic. Pencil Toppert. Sometimes has little tougher to be creative in those situations because you know you'd be teens don't call UN CAA. You know we have a first baseman we already have a first -- and have some established players on your roster. They just assume I think sometimes it they're not -- -- that they won the World Series back and he's a good player and you know they don't need to move money years they don't do anything like that so. It becomes a little bit tentative I think times. Two to making. Some types of transactions trades more complicated things so. -- when you get into those complicated to to trade some time there of their very tough to pull off because -- real sanity especially in the three ways for ways whatever you're doing. Tom but that I think the dynamic is a little bit different -- mean -- a lot of teams we haven't heard anything about him during the entire tone it down to. When you. As we don't talk about the you know earlier in the offseason Red Sox in on Brett sucked in on him in on every -- right does that justify -- for future for present whatever it might seem just to see what's going on if you could. I just imagined this board in this like almost like a family tree right if we go heat air. That we eliminate this and it comes trickles down here that we need this guy this guy I'm gonna move this guy and is that -- options. Are -- when this whole process. Yet not so much of a tree in that way but that's more down mentally when you assume you know if you do this and you can't do justice in this. On -- yes that's exactly how it's -- set up is is there's there's boards in the rooms and from mostly from a depth chart standpoint like. We got in the big league club with the guys in the minor league system mostly on the forty man roster. And we're the -- is going to be so what you mean club 25 players who's the rest of the fifteen guys where they provided depth. Guy gets hurt who's gonna step and so last year you know as accurately -- Bogart's. Workman most of the guys were down below so it's a new cast down there. Some of those guys have migrated onto the Major League club you're not you know beholden to the younger players Ortiz you're still looking at some of those areas to say. They can we do better here than at other pieces to move around here to make the team even better. When you get to the we Roxy good -- -- not -- games on when you get to that point to to make -- teams go to great. From a at least offs. That's easily argue that this is -- it's a step but it -- you do you to take Hasselbeck who lost some of the players there and some team but we do have guys that are gonna step and it is a little more challenging thing to take that step especially these meetings there is trying to get a million things done and there's teams that need to get things done and his teams that wanna get things done. Sometimes those -- tough matches. It's -- you guys might be in the one area not -- because Jeff's on this roster and when you were talking about how what the room it's been like. It sounds like maybe the trade market for you to maybe more active is that. Not specifically but for you guys when he on the free agent -- the had a year ago is it more active of you guys are actually talking to teams about potential trades to fill -- -- don't think. I think so I think so and and and the other reason is we've we've done a lot of reasons that aren't yet so freeze started 9 AM -- at the -- so when the World Series. Whatever time you know and I Tibet but it was early son may have been coming up I'm not quite there. -- still myopia is a bulldozer effect. But but you know -- our nanny in the next day and we we were we were hurting me a phone calls to you know that -- -- all weekend to try to. Get a feel for the mark was going to be in this free agency you've seen out there are ready. Into the free agent market went pretty quickly leave an opt to vote to be a lot of deals that have done. So we've done a lot of that part of it's yet now it's probably a little more focused and still staying in touch with a lot of free agents but a lot of the agents discount that you -- you said earlier Alou like. Getting information trying to figure out where the pieces -- land where we jump in the situations of somebody -- here. Will they have access will they be looking for something else -- to spend money to do that we'll have to free up payroll to do something else could we be -- -- -- spot there. So we're looking probably more optimistically trees at this point as opposed to free agents but Parcells thing. Stuff but he ballots. It's -- Stephen Drew for him what you balance you know wanting him back you appreciating what he does yet -- -- -- at middle Brooks in rookie if we do. What how does it affect. The young guys that we believe will be good. Some day maybe not -- Everett might be because Stephen Drew is still out there and I was actually surprised you take the offer edition of pit stop or so I was shocked. I guess but. Where you guys right now with him and how does that affect. The younger guys. Don't talk about specifically vote any free agent negotiation that's going on because that's you know -- handling Madden and Steven -- reputation and they'll figure out all that and stuff but I do that one issue that you brought -- you -- we talk a lot of room that is. Creating opportunities for the young player. When we have been good in the past and went on a little bit more the sustain runs 06 obviously 0345. But then 06 we really couldn't tolerate it hurt. And but we had a good team seven we obviously had a really good team only we had a really good team. And so on so forth what we did I think. In that time even though have been an older roster a lot of places. We were able to integrate a lot of younger players up to the system and create opportunities for them -- and so. Pedroia we created opportunities for and 2007. He got the job. We gave the job and he took department rookie -- year and VP all sorts of what not that's certainly -- for everybody but. Papelbon I was situation like that Lester was became a situation like that pitching a little bit different. The position players but we have to integrate those younger players on our roster at some point -- end. You can't integrated you know I mean you can't you can't do without an opportunity you know you you can't just you get to pile up minor league numbers and then have a Major League teams and what they're just gonna do that at the Major League level no. That's gonna happen wanna go to the Major League level on the got to be able to show that they can do it they can handle it the market. -- ups and downs injuries that the petite. They got to show that the -- -- level so. There's no one hard -- way for us to say all the young guys are gonna get opportunity it's not gonna happen ever we have to. The competitor recently year. But we do have to us select ways for guys like Pedroia Ellsbury Lowrie ghost of the guys that came through in the past to find their way on the roster and get -- at -- so. He talked with depth last year guys that at least these guys like Jackie -- you know whatever it might have been the minors Bogart's obviously. And then Ellsbury Pachulia to -- -- seven Ellsbury -- eight you know -- in a year later but not the real ones for a you know not. Bradley Bogart's middle Brooks have -- -- -- more time than those guys are still some uncertainty. That's a lot of risk there and it doesn't -- -- that depth in the minors he talked about -- probably big discussion as well this that is that you all three shot right at one. It and use so you talk opening three rookies in your in your starting lineup to give it right yeah you're gonna use we saw Jackie this year and Jack he's a phenomenal baseball player. Jackie went through some ups and downs -- I mean -- in his first time you kill me treat -- bring prodding aren't even though he's under a September of sixty Bryant remembers it is 350 you know without a line -- cigarette and those that bet them on what I don't really now practicing at seven years ago. You know it's it's it's it's. That's the stuff happens and and young guys go through that transition very few guys come up and do what Papelbon did do one. Notre Ellsbury really did in 2007. Very few guys do that folk -- candidate that this year but who knows he comes back to normal that better they get in a stone reporter now. Some putting those guys on the lineup does present its challenges on and I didn't know -- we got to figure with a piece. With the best pieces so is the player good enough to take a hundred and when he gains and find a complementary player to him. That's gonna give him time off so say if it was a situation with Jackie where. Being a left handed hitter pay you -- in the top lefty on a given night you have a right -- to win -- -- everyday guy but there's -- there's a guy that we -- with them not. It's dead platoon you want to play every day but. You know those times when it's going to be the toughest match ups for. And -- Bogart's war do you go find another veteran type player to go into that position. They give yourself build that depth back in those are one of the bigger areas that we're trying to figure -- The Red Sox -- assistant GM Mike -- here in Orlando you guys planning things out you project what's gonna happen. Was there any projection allegedly Jacoby Ellsbury would get 7153. In the New York you guys are doing a list of where he might land where the Yankees on that certain. Certainly realize aren't -- it doesn't surprise us at all. Can do -- our current area for the -- field yeah but -- like that was risers in the public granderson was going to be a free agent you know the the the roster where it is right now to get some guys that Soriano wells those guys -- you know guys coming to the -- in terms of their status there from contractual standpoint. You know it it it kind of fit in a lot of ways he's left handed hitter that we know they like left in his ballpark and they should just like we like right handers and our ballpark mean. You know -- Mike Napoli John Wall it's 310 feet away. You know they need to put it -- can put it 400 feet you know -- those long fly balls the same thing with the left and in and out ballpark it would -- that many times over. So it always seemed like a decent fit and they have money we know that they did that can make the playoffs so they're gonna gold. Get after it and try to sign impact type players and colonials for an effective players so doesn't surprise at all. -- last offseason obviously in this era chuckle you know which reporter putrid a year out of them to realize. But he probably -- will get a contract like this might leave. Another guy that's going to be important factors same thing Jon Lester and it last year and his deal. See the money flown around left to right you look that we were able to -- Hamels and it could be the best pitcher on the market Rangers -- gets extended. How much tickets are you see you know what he did for you -- September. You know and -- -- you guys he -- -- -- -- be talking in spring training that almost. The big priority. No I don't not today is not the big party today's big priorities putting the pieces together for for the 2014 club who sought to stay focused on that John's going to be your yeah we obviously level we saw what he did he's led us to World Series we know. The impact he has on our team and our organization and we know the impact he's had a playoff runs. Apart and anytime you have a kid that's come up through the system certainly there's history his relationships with you gone through a lot together from an organization standpoint and John. You know will get to that we'll get that no -- talked about that -- -- -- -- that's a little later in the offseason when we're traditionally sort of turned our attention wants the 2014 building blocks in place. We got to turn our attention to. Hey what's -- what's what's a longer term outlook that we need to. Keep in mind you were doing at all time trades and free agent signings you know what's the 2014 club -- beyond looking like who -- your internal guys you start to turn your attention to. What's team gonna look like with a without this guy going forward what are we aptitude of to you know. Start that dialogue. You see what the team's gonna look like huge Kobe Els picked up play him you could plug him in place in -- field at bats leadoff -- you -- we lost lead -- hitter. Mike how much input does the front office haven't trying to figure out who replaces him right now John Ferrell makes up a lot of use of that -- says that. Well we got trying to figure out two or three players target two or three guys that might fit and how does that communication go with John Ferrell the manager and figure out replaces -- top. Yeah I mean John's in John's in all those meetings he's in all the meetings where we're bring songs in the -- -- having formal discussions and he's having. He's in a lot of the meetings were were actually negotiating with. What it's a traitor free agent and he is locked into what we're doing. Everything flows through him in terms of what we come up with Ben goes to John immediately is like hey here's some thoughts we have what do you think how does that fit what would you do with this guy how would you use them. Because that's part of the value here right at the myth the managers getting players that he can use. We're losing some value of dependent on preparing Christmas were paying a lot of money or it's a big trade were giving up a lot of players. And Johnson to the minor league system as well so that helps where John can say depends okay we're gonna give up this guy this guy and this guy what you think John consultancy I would. I would give those guys about seeing spring training fall Urban -- you know and in during the season and minor leagues that seems a little bit pricey to me. But he's involved in the stinks and we we -- all those things through him in terms of you know how a -- we would fit on team specifically you know who's gonna do what where once we have a team together I mean that becomes less about. Boss more about you -- ask some questions they what does this guy do in the situation that situation. But as far as the daily construction that goes today and he and Torre and they figure that stuff. You know Lugo -- joked at -- carts untouchable you know guys to step this year and real that is when -- you bought him. That a lot of Sox trades of this year's name at the last year at spring training people everywhere you -- in the loss beat him up he beat you grew up who got bigger stronger. What's the ceiling with this kid what does it all about when we get to see him. Yes ceilings all the American major stock that that's a good deal and those -- difficult question to answer. Look. I mean he's a prospect at this point so that's what he has smartly player at this point but as far as potential within the system yet he's got some of the -- potential insists there's no doubt about it. He's a big he would he's not overly physical from a from frame standpoint he's still pretty wiry strong his. 67 so it's enormous he's got size whatever fifteen feet you did they take up the entire rubber. When he's out there on the mound but you know you talk that low to mid nineties fastball more low ninety's at this point. With -- with what we were considered above average change up today to curve ball still work in progress he gets when he missed his fastball. -- mean you can imagine what you're looking at you knew that this big advocate with this long of an arm. With that long legs coming -- -- with really good stuff. And he's pretty Smart kid too which is is always something that you know you're looking for in terms of how quickly in a transition to get the scouting reports can figure out how to attack the hitter. Is going to be a one trick pony up some big leagues just try to -- Byron but he which you know that's not work. He's got to have some field and on a pitch and he's working on those things so. You know how fast gonna come notes I don't know how I would have bet that bowler would have been in the big leagues last year. I mean I wouldn't have he was obviously our best prospect he's he's what every column now it still is. But I would -- that and in the come up on that stage and thrive like that that's an unknown that we're not an atomic. You've got to go QB thirty seconds one guy besides don't you can't wait to show Pittsburgh training does that give you prospector a player you want to see yet they really probably the guy that that jumped on the screen more than anybody else this year he's always a premium athlete was always a really good player. But rookie Betts was against a -- I don't know that we have big league spring training but it certainly will as we've done with younger players get through in the guise to you know the guys in their time off when they get shoved in the the second half of the smiling -- you'll seem quite a bit. Days that you had a very good fall league he knows our views are offensive player of the year in the minor league system and you know just he's he's a really interesting package of of a player taken second baseman now because probably pointers places. Last I checked we have segments -- -- -- I -- I -- probably don't have to figure out some other position form at some point but he's that good of an athlete that we feel like that transitional -- -- big -- -- You know we're relaxes him. You really -- it's a piece of that book they reached base. Paths that you really didn't get texts with food well I don't notice that I was you know play. Way to make space that whatever trade up and they are getting some that. And not get back up to the room network that you rate that make a few minutes in my case GM of the Boston Red Sox get a break come back. I'll react to that 11 o'clock react to a conversation happen at dinner last night involving the Patriots keep it here.

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