Dave Dombrowski

David Dombrowski (born July 27, 1956) is an American baseball executive who serves as the President of Baseball Operations for the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB). Dombrowski also previously served as the general manager of the Montreal Expos, the general manager and president of the Florida Marlins and Detroit Tigers, and president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. He has helped build four different franchises (Marlins, Tigers, Red Sox, Phillies) into pennant-winning teams, and he has won the World Series twice — with the Marlins in 1997 and the Red Sox in 2018.

Dave Dombrowski
Dombrowski in 2015
Philadelphia Phillies
President of Baseball Operations
Born: (1956-07-27) July 27, 1956
Chicago, Illinois
Career highlights and awards


Chicago White Sox

Dombrowski began his career with the Chicago White Sox in 1978, as an administrative assistant in their minor league organization.[1] He moved up the ladder to assistant general manager to Roland Hemond by his late 20s, but was purged during Ken Harrelson's one-year reign in 1986 as the White Sox front-office boss.

Montreal Expos

Dombrowski joined the Montreal Expos front office as director of player development for the 1987 season under Bill Stoneman, and on July 5, 1988, he became, at age 31, Montreal's general manager—the youngest in MLB at the time.[2]

Dombrowski built up the Expos farm system during his term. He drafted, among others, Rondell White and Cliff Floyd. The team enjoyed .500 or better seasons in 1988–90 but struggled on the field in 1991. Concurrently, the National League expanded to 14 teams, with two new franchises to begin play in 1993. One of those teams, the Florida Marlins, recruited Dombrowski to become its first general manager; he was appointed on September 19, 1991.

Florida Marlins

Dombrowski spent about a decade in Miami, working under owners H. Wayne Huizenga and John W. Henry. In 1996, he hired Jim Leyland to manage the team; they had previously worked together for the White Sox in the early 1980s, with Dombrowski as assistant general manager and Leyland as third base coach.[3] Although Dombrowski built a sound minor league system, the Marlins achieved their first great success—the NL pennant and 1997 World Series title—with a team composed of many high-salaried players signed as free agents. The following year, Dombrowski presided over Huizenga's mandated fire sale of those veteran players, and the Marlins failed to reach a .500 winning percentage in each of Dombrowski's final four years with the franchise. In November 2001, Dombrowski left Florida to become the president of the Detroit Tigers.[4] Nevertheless, after Henry sold the club in early 2002, the Marlins managed to rebuild behind a nucleus of young players, and the following season, with a roster consisting chiefly of players Dombrowski had acquired,[5] the team won the 2003 World Series.

Detroit Tigers

Dombrowski watches a West Michigan Whitecaps game at Fifth Third Ballpark, 2010

For the 2002 season, his first with the Tigers after being hired by owner Mike Ilitch, Dombrowski was to serve as president and chief executive officer of the rebuilding Tigers. Incumbent general manager Randy Smith would continue in his role, reporting to Dombrowski. However, when Detroit lost its first six games in 2002, Dombrowski quickly fired both Smith and manager Phil Garner.[6] Dombrowski assumed the general manager's role himself, becoming the first person to serve as both president and GM for the Tigers since Jim Campbell held both titles from 1978 to 1983.[7]

In 2003, the Tigers lost an American League-record 119 games, one fewer loss than the modern MLB record set by the 1962 New York Mets. The manager was Alan Trammell, who was the 1984 World Series MVP. Three years later, the 2006 Tigers, led by manager Jim Leyland, won their first AL pennant since their championship season of 1984. Along the way, they won the AL wild card, defeated the favored New York Yankees in four games in the 2006 American League Division Series (ALDS), then swept the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 American League Championship Series (ALCS). In the 2006 World Series, they were defeated in five games by the St. Louis Cardinals. Dombrowski was subsequently named Executive of the Year by Baseball America.[8]

In addition to bringing Leyland out of semi-retirement,[9] Dombrowski presided over the acquisition and development of a corps of hard-throwing young pitchers, and signed free agents such as catcher Iván Rodríguez, left-handed pitcher Kenny Rogers, and outfielder Magglio Ordóñez.

In 2012, the Tigers reached their second World Series under Dombrowski's tenure by defeating the Oakland Athletics in five games in the 2012 ALDS and sweeping the New York Yankees in the 2012 ALCS. The Tigers were then swept by the San Francisco Giants in four straight games, losing the 2012 World Series.

On August 4, 2015, Dombrowski was released by the Tigers, and was replaced by his former assistant general manager Al Avila.[10] In fourteen years with Tigers organization, Dombrowski led the Tigers to five playoff appearances, four consecutive American League Central division titles, four American League Championship Series appearances, including three consecutive ALCS appearances from 2011 to 2013, and two AL pennants, in 2006 and 2012.[11] Prior to his hiring, the Tigers had missed the playoffs in fourteen consecutive seasons, and had just four playoff appearances in the 60 season stretch from 1946 to 2005.

Boston Red Sox

On August 18, 2015, Dombrowski was named the president of baseball operations of the Boston Red Sox.[12] At the announcement of his hiring, the Red Sox also announced that general manager Ben Cherington would step down. In September, Dombrowski filled Cherington's post with senior vice president Mike Hazen.[13] Dombrowski made his first significant trade for the Red Sox in November, when he acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four prospects.[14] He also signed high-profile free agent pitcher David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract.

In Dombrowski's first full season with the team, the 2016 Red Sox won 93 regular-season games and the American League East division title, but were swept in the 2016 American League Division Series by the eventual AL champions, the Cleveland Indians. In mid-October, Hazen resigned from the Red Sox to take an expanded role as executive vice president and general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dombrowski chose not to appoint a successor, assuming general manager responsibilities without the added title, and promoting other Red Sox executives to key supporting positions, including former MLB general managers Frank Wren and Allard Baird.[15]

Prior to the 2017 season, Dombrowski acquired starting pitcher Chris Sale from the White Sox, in exchange for four prospects including Yoan Moncada.[16] The 2017 Red Sox won their division again, but lost the 2017 American League Division Series to the eventual World Series champions, the Houston Astros. In October, Dombrowski fired John Farrell, who had served five years as Boston's manager.[17] Later that month, Dombrowski hired Alex Cora, then bench coach of the Astros, to be the next Red Sox manager.[18]

The 2018 Red Sox won their division for the third consecutive season; the team recorded 108 wins, the most in franchise history. The team went on to win the 2018 World Series, with a pitching staff led by players that Dombrowski had acquired—including Kimbrel, Price, and Sale—along with designated hitter J. D. Martinez, whom Dombrowski had acquired in February 2018.[19] It was Dombrowski's first championship since he was general manager of the Marlins in 1997, and he was later named Executive of the Year by Baseball America, the second time he won the award.[8] In June 2019, the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame awarded its Excellence in Sports Award to Dombrowski.

Dombrowski was fired by the Red Sox early on September 9, 2019, just 10 months after winning the 2018 World Series, following a 10–5 loss to the New York Yankees, which dropped Boston's record for the season to 76–67.[20][21] During his time leading baseball operations, the Red Sox were fined for participating in electronic sign stealing against the Yankees in 2017, and improper use of video replay to decode signs during the 2018 season.[22][23] Following an MLB investigation into the 2018 allegations, findings released in February 2020 did not implicate Dombrowski in any wrongdoing.[24][25]

Philadelphia Phillies

On December 11, 2020, Dombrowski was named the president of baseball operations of the Philadelphia Phillies.[26] After missing the playoffs in 2021, the 2022 Phillies qualified for the postseason as a wild card team and secured the National League pennant.[27] It was Dombrowski's first league title with Philadelphia and fifth overall of his executive career.

Record as General Manager / President of Baseball Operations

TeamYearRegular SeasonPostseason
WonLostWin %FinishResult
MON1988 4140.506N/AAppointed on July 5
MON1989 8181.5004th in NL East-
MON1990 8577.5253rd in NL East-
MON1991 6481.4416th in NL East Hired by Florida Marlins on September 19
MON Total271279.493
FLA1993 6498.3956th in NL East-
FLA1994 5164.4435th in NL East-
FLA1995 6776.4694th in NL East-
FLA1996 8082.4943rd in NL East-
FLA1997 9270.5682nd in NL EastDefeated Cleveland Indians in 1997 World Series
FLA1998 54108.3335th in NL East-
FLA1999 6498.3955th in NL East-
FLA2000 7982.4913rd in NL East-
FLA2001 7686.4694th in NL East-
FLA Total627764.4511 Playoff Appearance, 1 Pennant, 1 World Series Title
DET2002 55100.3555th in AL Central-
DET2003 43119.2655th in AL Central-
DET2004 7290.4444th in AL Central-
DET2005 7191.4384th in AL Central-
DET2006 9567.5862nd in AL CentralLost to St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 World Series
DET2007 8874.5432nd in AL Central-
DET2008 7488.4575th in AL Central-
DET2009 8677.5282nd in AL Central-
DET2010 8181.5003rd in AL Central-
DET2011 9567.5861st in AL CentralLost to Texas Rangers in 2011 ALCS
DET2012 8874.5431st in AL CentralLost to San Francisco Giants in 2012 World Series
DET2013 9369.5741st in AL CentralLost to Boston Red Sox in 2013 ALCS
DET2014 9072.5561st in AL CentralLost to Baltimore Orioles in 2014 ALDS
DET2015 5154.4863rd in AL Central Released on August 4
DET Total1,0821,123.4915 Playoff Appearances, 2 Pennants
BOS2015 2618.591N/AHired on August 18
BOS2016 9369.5741st in AL EastLost to Cleveland Indians in 2016 ALDS
BOS2017 9369.5741st in AL EastLost to Houston Astros in 2017 ALDS
BOS2018 10854.6671st in AL East Defeated Los Angeles Dodgers in 2018 World Series
BOS2019 7667.5313rd in AL East Released on September 9
BOS Total396277.5883 Playoff Appearances, 1 Pennant, 1 World Series Title
PHI2021 8280.5062nd in NL East-
PHI2022 8775.5373rd in NL EastLost to Houston Astros in 2022 World Series
PHI Total169155.522 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Pennant
Total2,5452,598.49510 Playoff Appearances, 5 Pennants, 2 World Series Titles

Reflects team's record and position in standings at the time Dombrowski was dismissed.
Reflects team's record from when Dombrowski was hired through end of season.

Dombrowski's title with Boston was President of Baseball Operations. Mike Hazen served as Boston's general manager during 2016 and reported to Dombrowski.

Personal life

Dombrowski grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois, and graduated from Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois.[28][29]

Dombrowski briefly attended Cornell University, where he was a member of the Big Red football team. He later transferred to Western Michigan University, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1979.[1][30] Dombrowski would later be the recipient of Western Michigan University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.[29][31] In 2018, Dombrowski was honored with the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame Excellence in Sports Award, in Troy, Michigan.

Dombrowski is married to Karie Ross,[32] who worked as an ESPN reporter from 1988 to 1990. They met in 1992 while Dombrowski was serving as general manager of the Florida Marlins and Ross was a reporter at WTVJ in Miami.[33] The couple has two children,[32] Darbi and Landon.[34]


  1. "David Dombrowski". mlb.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  2. Lawson, Earl (July 23, 1988). "Los Angeles amazes Lasorda". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 4D. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  3. "Dombrowski, Leyland dynamic duo for Tigers". USATODAY.COM. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  4. "Dombrowski leaves Marlins to head Tigers," November 5, 2001, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2001/11/05/dombrowski_tigers_ap/#null Archived November 21, 2001, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "Prospectus Q&A: Dave Dombrowski". Baseball Prospectus. June 13, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  6. Chass, Murray (April 9, 2002). "BASEBALL; Tigers Dismiss Garner And Smith". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  7. "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved July 29, 2022.
  8. Remillard, Calli (November 27, 2018). "Dave Dombrowski was named Executive of the Year". Boston.com. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  9. Greenberg, Jon (June 23, 2006). "Tigers getting ferocious under Leyland". mlb.com. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  10. Simon, Andrew (August 4, 2015). "Avila replaces Dombrowski as Tigers GM". MLB.com. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  11. Jaffe, Jay (August 4, 2015). "Dave Dombrowski's departure marks the end of an era for Detroit Tigers". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  12. "Red Sox hire Dave Dombrowski; Ben Cherington stepping down as GM". USA Today. August 18, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  13. Pescaro, Mike (September 24, 2015). "Mike Hazen Named Red Sox General Manager". NECN. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  14. "Padres trade Craig Kimbrel to Red Sox in exchange for 4 prospects". ESPN. November 13, 2015.
  15. Lauber, Scott (October 25, 2016). "Dave Dombrowski: Red Sox won't hire a general manager". ESPN.
  16. Scott Merkin (December 6, 2016). "Red Sox acquire Chris Sale in blockbuster trade with White Sox". MLB.com. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  17. Browne, Ian (October 11, 2017). "Red Sox release manager John Farrell after five seasons". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  18. Browne, Ian (October 22, 2017). "Sox finalize 3-year deal with Cora to manage". MLB.com. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  19. "Red Sox officially sign J. D. Martinez to 5-year deal through 2022". ESPN.com. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  20. "Red Sox fire president Dave Dombrowski less than a year after winning World Series". sports.yahoo.com. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  21. Abraham, Pete (September 9, 2019). "Dave Dombrowski out as Red Sox president of baseball operations". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  22. Perry, Dayn (January 15, 2020). "Alex Cora's managerial career, which started with historic success, appears to be over". CBSSports.com. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  23. Billy Witz (September 15, 2017). "Manfred Fines Red Sox Over Stealing Signs and Issues Warning to All 30 Teams - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  24. Smith, Christopher (February 18, 2020). "Boston Red Sox sign-stealing investigation: MLB will find Dave Dombrowski 'not involved' (report)". Masslive. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  25. "Red Sox News: Investigation to pass Dave Dombrowski and Ron Roenicke". February 19, 2020.
  26. Acquavella, Katherine; Snyder, Matt (December 11, 2020). "Phillies hire Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  27. Frank, Vincent (October 23, 2022). "Sports world reacts to Phillies winning first NL pennant since 2009". Sportsnaut. Retrieved October 23, 2022 via MSN.com.
  28. "Turning in A+ work". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  29. "tigers.com: Team". Detroit Tigers. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  30. Fox Sports. "Detroit". FOX Sports. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  31. "Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients". wmich.edu. October 11, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  32. Friedman, Michael (April 30, 2018). "Karie Ross Dombrowski Q&A Extra Credit". mikefriedman.oucreate.com. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  33. Rohde, John (August 12, 2001). "South Florida cottons to Ross' spunk Ex-TV reporter is full-time mom with fond memories of Oklahoma". oklahoman.com. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  34. 2015 Detroit Tigers Media Guide. pg.12.

Further reading

  • Buchignani, Walter (July 17, 1988). "Introducing... Dave Dombrowski". The Gazette. Montreal. p. 2. Retrieved May 29, 2018 via newspapers.com.
  • Ebling, Jack (2018). Tales from the Detroit Tigers Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Tigers Stories Ever Told. Richard Kincaide (Contributor). Sports Publishing. ISBN 978-1613218808.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bill Stoneman
Montreal Expos general manager
Succeeded by
Dan Duquette
Preceded by
Franchise created
Florida Marlins general manager
Succeeded by
Larry Beinfest
Preceded by
Don Smiley
Florida Marlins president
Succeeded by
Preceded by Detroit Tigers president
Succeeded by
Chris Granger
Preceded by
Randy Smith
Detroit Tigers general manager
Succeeded by
Al Avila
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