MLB

Red Sox promote from within, hire Mike Hazen as new GM

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Left to right: Allard Baird, Red Sox Vice President, Player Personnel, and Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen talk with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. It was reported today that Cuban super prospect Yoan Moncada had agreed to sign with the team for a record $31.5 million signing bonus. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Left to right: Allard Baird, Red Sox Vice President, Player Personnel, and Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen talk with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. It was reported today that Cuban super prospect Yoan Moncada had agreed to sign with the team for a record $31.5 million signing bonus. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox hired Mike Hazen as general manager on Thursday, bringing him in to rebuild a team that went from World Series champion to the AL East cellar -- with a second consecutive last-place finish well on its way.

Hazen's promotion from assistant GM is the first big move by Dave Dombrowski since he took over as president of baseball operations in August.

"Over his 10 years with the Red Sox, Mike has proven to be an invaluable member of the baseball operations department," Dombrowski said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have him in this position, and I'm excited to have him working with me on every aspect of baseball operations."

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Hazen, 39, replaces Ben Cherington, who built the 2013 World Series champions but has the Red Sox in last for the second year in a row. Cherington decided not to stay on when Dombrowski was brought in above him.

Hazen, a Massachusetts native, is the sixth Red Sox GM in a row with New England roots.

"Mike's leadership, work ethic and passion for the game are second to none," said Sam Kennedy, who is scheduled to take over as Red Sox president after the season. "His experience, combined with his local roots, make him the perfect choice to work alongside Dave as we head into 2016."

A two-time All-Ivy League outfielder at Princeton, Hazen was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 31st round of the 1998 draft. He played two seasons in the minor leagues before joining the Cleveland front office.

After five years with the Indians, he was hired by the Red Sox as director of player development in 2006 and spent a decade in the front office. He was promoted to assistant GM in 2012.