BOSTON -- Dave Dombrowski's search for the next general manager of the Red Sox will start within the organization.
Dombrowski, Boston's president of baseball operations, took the same approach last year when he appointed Mike Hazen to that role.
Hazen was officially introduced as GM of the D-backs at a news conference in Arizona on Monday. A couple of hours before that, Dombrowski held a conference call with the Boston media to discuss his search for a successor.
"As far as what we're going to do, we'll start talking to people internally first, about replacing Mike and replacing his responsibilities, and then what happens from there, we'll see what happens if we need to go outside or not," said Dombrowski.
The GM of the Red Sox doesn't carry the traditional role of that job. Dombrowski is the lead decision-maker for baseball operations.
Dombrowski is the first to admit how many talented individuals he has alongside him in Boston, which is why he will interview those candidates first. A year ago, Dombrowski felt it was vital to hire an internal GM because he was still getting to know the ins and outs of the organization after being hired in mid-August.
"I think that, ideally, you'd like to stay internal," Dombrowski said. "People here are good. It's not as strong in importance where it really weighed heavily for Mike last year. It's not quite as strong of importance, but I also don't mean to say that it favors somebody coming from outside the organization."
Here is a short list of internal candidates who could be interviewed by Dombrowski: Senior vice president of player personnel Allard Baird, senior vice president of baseball operations Frank Wren, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran, vice president of international and amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye, director of player development Ben Crockett, vice president of international scouting Ed Romero and director of pro scouting Gus Quattlebaum.
Baird and Wren have been general managers in the past, but it's unknown if either of them would want to get back into that daily grind at this stage of their careers.
Dombrowski is open to what the role of GM for the Red Sox will entail going forward.
"I think depending on the person you hire and what their background is, you can kind of configure the responsibilities differently, so I'm not really sure of that yet," Dombrowski said. "I think it's more important to get the right person into place that works for your organization."
While Dombrowski would like to have the next GM in place as soon as possible, he doesn't have a deadline.
As for potential ramifications of Hazen going to Arizona, Dombrowski acknowledged the chance -- perhaps even the likelihood -- that the D-backs will interview Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo for their vacant managerial post.
Hazen was one of Lovullo's strongest backers in the Red Sox organization, and the two have a working relationship that dates back to when they were both with the Cleveland Indians.
"I'll be surprised, I would say, if they don't ask for permission to talk to Torey," Dombrowski said. "I know how highly we think of him and how highly Mike thinks of him. But I can't speak for that. That would have to be something that Mike would answer. Of course, we would not stand in Torey's way, as we discussed last week. In my opinion, he's ready to be a Major League manager. Would he end up being their top selection? I can't answer that. We would not stand in his way."
It also stands to reason that Hazen might bring some Red Sox front-office personnel with him to Boston. He has worked with O'Halloran for a decade in Boston. Dombrowski noted that there is a limit on how many employees Hazen could hire from the Red Sox.
"Could we lose somebody? Perhaps," said Dombrowski. "Just like Mike, he was ready for the next step. He wasn't going to get there in the immediate future. He really wanted that. Part of your responsibility in my role is to not only put a good team on the field, that's the ultimate thing, to win a world championship and put a good team on the field, but it's also a situation where you help people grow.
"It's incumbent upon you. If somebody had such a large opportunity that exists with him that didn't exist here, we're open-minded to it. But it's also one of those where there is a limit and we would not let an abundance of personnel leave, by any means."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.