Dave Dombrowski was released by the Tigers today, in what came as a surprise to Tigers fans and baseball minds alike. On the heels of a trade deadline that offered no glimpse into him being without a job before his current contract expired, Dombrowski was given his walking papers quite unceremoniously. The higher ups said it was a business decision, and they were doing this as an amicable split meant to allow the former-GM an opportunity to start looking for his next gig. Ouch.
The Tigers organization seemed very concerned about the lack of a World Series championship during his term, and seemed to be the main impetus of letting him go, but if that's the requisite for a GM doing a good job, then they're going to find that most general managers will never sniff that late-October victory bouquet, either. The Tigers were extremely successful during Dombrowski's tenure. They have won more games than any other team since 2011. He was presiding over things while big name after big name was brought on to the club; names like Ivan Rodriguez, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and David Price. They won their division numerous times, and went to a couple World Series. But alas, they didn't actually win one, so it must his fault. Give him the ax? Okay, leaves more Dumbrowski for the Angels. Possibly.
The pros: he's not much a sabr guy, which is music to Mike Scioscia's ears. He's got a good track record, as evidenced above. He is bright, and highly sought after...the latter being music to Arte Moreno's ears, as we all know Moreno likes him some bright, shiny Big Names.
The cons: it's not a con against Dombrowski himself, but more against him landing the job in Anaheim: he likes autonomy and the Angels GM position is now considered compromised by many people in the MLB. There is an owner and a manager that will give you orders disguised as input. This is a con that will pretty much pop up with any general manager candidate worth his salt.
The Angels will need to fill that hole in the offseason, because we all know Bill Stoneman is a GM in name only right now. He's a figurehead, with maybe one in-house person who could be up to the job(Klentak) but who is also somewhat green and unproven in the job. Would the Angels be willing to go after a guy that was more or less fired by ownership, just a season after more or less showing the door to their own, maverick-minded general manager? There are other suitors and perhaps better fits for his services, like an executive job in Toronto along side Alex Anthopolous, or with the hated Boston Red Sox. But one things for sure: the Angels should at least give him a phone call.
I would be okay with this hire, but I couldn't blame any respectable baseball guy for sending that call straight to voicemail while laughing maniacally. Until then, it's anybody's guess as to who is going to fill that Angels-emblazoned polo shirt.