Dave Dombrowski talked about a number of things at his introductory press conference. (WEEI.com photo)

Dave Dombrowski on team-building philosophy, signing pitchers over 30, what Red Sox need

Ryan Hannable
August 19, 2015 - 1:36 pm
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With the Red Sox on pace for their second last place finish in the AL East in as many years and third in the last four, it's apparent the organization has its flaws. It is now newly hired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski's job to fix them and get the organization back to winning. "We need to improve the starting pitching and also the bullpen over time," Dombrowski said at his introductory press conference Wednesday. The long-time Tigers executive also gave a look into his team-building philosophy, but noted the biggest thing is being able to adjust on the fly. "One of the keys for your as a baseball executive is you need to be able to adjust on the run because a lot of times you can go into the offseason with particular goals, but you're in a position where those players aren't available," Dombrowski said. "I think that's often one of the [facts] when people look at organizations -- why didn't you get that type of player? The reality is he doesn't exist, but if you would have told me what I would love -- I would love to have power pitching overall, but there's been very successful non-power pitchers too. Ideally, I would love to have that. "I'm also in a spot where I think defense in today's game is extremely important. You'd love to have defense up the middle -- catcher, second, short, center. Still, defense is important at the other positions, but you'd also like to mix some power in there. Usually the power comes at the corners. Speed is important in today's game. "I think if you mix all of those, but again, we can start out with that premise and for some reason you start off and get a power hitting second baseman then maybe it's not important to have it somewhere else. I do think it's extremely important that with your planning that you can go in different direction once you start your plans and you have a pulse of the players and who is available, who may surprisingly be available and be able to adjust off of those thought processes." With the Red Sox currently lacking a true No. 1 ace in their rotation, Dombrowski touched on the importance of having one in today's game. "Normally if you have a World Championship club you need to have the No. 1 type of guy," he said. "Normally that's the case. Again, when we talk flexibility and building a roster doesn't mean that you might have more middle of the rotation guys or your bullpen is particularly good. Ideally you'd want to have a top of the rotation guy as you go forward. It not only gives you a better chance to win that game, it takes some of the pressure off the other pitchers as you're also in a spot as they give you more innings, you can rest your bullpen a little bit more." One of the biggest philosophies connected to Red Sox ownership is their belief of not signing pitchers who are over the age of 30 to long-term contracts. Dombrowski acknowledged there is plenty of risk involved when doing so. "We all know that free agency rises -- has its pluses and minuses," Dombrowski said. "We know as guys reach a certain age -- and there are exceptions -- that a lot of times you have your production up here and they start to decline. When you sign those guys you're in a spot where you're paying them for past production. It happens and has happened a lot. I think in general, philosophically, we all know that. "I think what we'll do when those times come up is we'll sit down and discuss them. Some guys age better than others. Some guys have better deliveries, but there are no certainties when it comes to pitching long-term."

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