BOSTON -- The last-place Boston Red Sox shook up their front office on Tuesday night, hiring Dave Dombrowski as the new president of baseball operations and saying goodbye to general manager Ben Cherington.

Dombrowski joins the Red Sox -- his fifth major league club -- immediately. The team said in a news release during its game against the Cleveland Indians that Cherington "declined the opportunity to continue as General Manager, but has agreed to assist Mr. Dombrowski during the transition."

Dombrowski built a World Series champion with the Florida Marlins and took Detroit to the Series twice, winning four straight AL Central titles in 14 years in the Tigers' front office. But with Detroit playing below .500, he was let go two weeks ago -- shortly after the Red Sox announced that president and CEO Larry Lucchino would step away from the club at the end of the season.

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Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy is slated to take over the business of the ballclub, with Dombrowski running the baseball side.

"He is one of the most highly regarded executives in all of baseball, and had options to go with other clubs," said Red Sox owner John Henry, who worked with Dombrowski in Florida. "We feel very fortunate that he wanted to come to Boston, and wanted to further his career -- now with the Red Sox -- as one of the great architects of winning baseball clubs."

The shakeup comes as the Red Sox stumble toward their third last-place finish in four seasons. In 2013, they won the World Series -- their third in a decade but their first under Cherington.

"Ben Cherington is one of the finest individuals I have ever worked with, possessing a maturity and integrity second to none," Henry said. "Over 17 years with the Red Sox and in the four years as our general manager, he always put the best interests of our organization first and foremost, winning a World Series Championship in 2013."

The Red Sox have played the last five game with bench coach Torey Lovullo filling in for manager John Farrell, who was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer. He began chemotherapy earlier Tuesday.