Dave Dombrowski is going to have a lot of gigs from which to choose

source: AP
Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski is 59 and unemployed. That’s scary for most people, but when you have his track record you could very well have your choice of your next gig. So, a day after he was let go, it’s worth thinking about where he might go after this season. Some candidates:

  • Boston: Larry Luchhino is stepping down at the end of the season and, while Sam Kennedy is taking over as team president, he’s not a baseball ops guy. It strikes me that the role of President of Baseball Operations so many teams now have over their GM is one that Ben Cherrington could easily fill based on his experience — is he any less qualified than Andrew Friedman was when he got the gig with Los Angeles? — but many in the Boston media are talking about Dombrowski coming in and a working above Ben Cherington. That’ll be interesting to watch;
  • Toronto: The Blue Jays are looking for a president, too, with Paul Beeston stepping down at the end of the season. It would be a different sort of setup for Dombrowski there than he had for the past 13 years in Detroit, with Rogers Communications usually setting a budget and stepping back as opposed to being open to persuasion about bold moves like Mike Illitch seemed to be. Still, the Jays have a nice core in place and could be winners for a while and that may be enticing;
  • Anaheim: This is one a lot of people are talking about due to Dombrowski’s reportedly close relationship with interim Angels GM Bill Stoneman. Also appealing is that the club requires the sort of team-building, as it were, that the Tigers of the past few years have: the maintenance of a winner, not a rebuild. The problem, of course, is that as we saw with Jerry Dipoto’s ouster, the GM is probably the least powerful person in that organization. If you think for a minute that Dombrowski wants to take orders from Mike Scioscia, you gotta be crazy. Also, like Detroit now, the Angels farm system is thin and whether Dombrowski wants to do that kind of building is an open question;
  • Seattle: This is based more on the notion that, after a disappointing year and underwhelming results, GM Jack Zduriencik is clearly on the hot seat. Howard Lincoln is the CEO of the club and he basically represents the absentee owners of Nintendo. There has always been the sense that, in some ways, Seattle operates like Toronto — corporate sets a budget and then steps back — but it could be that the Mariners are looking for a more dynamic front office setup. Or, at the very least, they should be;
  • Baltimore? Milwaukee?: Less chattered about in the past 24 hours, but interesting all the same. Doug Melvin has been said to be considering retirement. Dan Duquette in Baltimore was rumored to be up for the Jays job earlier this year so some musical chairs could happen. There are likely other teams who will find themselves with openings by the time, or soon after, the season ends.

Either way, this is a good time for Dombrowski to be on the market.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.