Dave Dombrowski has a reputation for coming in, spending an owner's money, and leaving the team in disarray. I'm not going to refute that notion, as that did happen in Detroit and Boston, but what should be more notable is his ability to build dynamic pitching staffs, which have been a key component of his teams' success.
Montreal Expos 1988-1991
Dombrowski began his career with the Montreal Expos in 1987 as the General Manager where he immediately drafted Tom Brady. Actually his first move was Phillies related, trading for Kevin Gross on December 6, 1988 in return the Phillies got Jeff Parrett and Floyd Youmans. One of his first impactful, and baseball altering moves was to acquire pitcher Mark Langston from the Seattle Mariners (for some LH pitcher you probably never heard of). Langston had a stellar season with the Expos, posting a 2.39 ERA and striking out 175 batters in 175 innings pitched. Dombrowski also helped develop future All-Star pitchers like Dennis Martinez.
Right away you can see his focus on improving a teams starting rotation.
Florida Marlins 1992-2001
In 1991, Dombrowski was hired as General Manager for the expansion Florida Marlins. He was in control of the expansion draft, but the pool of pitchers left exposed was a bit limited. However, Dombrowski made some key moves to bolster the pitching staff, including acquiring Kevin Brown and Al Leiter. In 1997, the Marlins won the World Series, with Brown and Leiter both playing key roles in the team's success.
Obviously this is even more apparent then his first job with the Expos that there is an emphasis on improving the starting rotation. And yes that 96 team used a 4 man rotation
Detroit Tigers 2002-2015
Dombrowski was hired as the President and General Manager of the Detroit Tigers in 2002. The team had struggled for years, but Dombrowski began rebuilding the team by focusing on pitching. He drafted Justin Verlander in 2004, who would become one of the best pitchers in baseball. Dombrowski also acquired other key pitchers like Kenny Rogers, Max Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez, who helped lead the Tigers to two World Series appearances in 2006 and 2012. His rotation in 2012 Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Porcello or 2013 who added David Price and had some kid named Robbie Ray. That 2014 pitching staff has TWENTY-FIVE top 5 Cy Young finishes and 9 Cy Young awards. This was not a quick turnaround, but still shows DD's eye for pitching
Boston Red Sox 2015-2019
In 2015, Dombrowski was hired as the President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. He quickly made some moves to bolster the team's pitching staff, including signing free agent pitcher David Price and acquiring All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel in a trade. In 2018, the Red Sox won the World Series, with Price and Kimbrel both playing key roles in the team's success. Was it a plan for long-term success, nope. But flags fly forever
Philadelphia Phillies 2020-Present
Unlike the staffs in Montreal, Florida, Detroit, and Boston; Philly actually started with a strong foundation of starting pitching. But he has added pieces to eat innings a little over a month since he was hired (Matt Moore and Chase Anderson) and revamped team development and put his fingerprint on the draft with Painter (a move questioned by some seeing as the Phillies just drafted Abel). This past offseason was his first true offseason to shape HIS team. He was hired at the end of Dec of 2020, had the work stoppage in 2021 offseason so his hands were tied, and finally had this offseason which is viewed as one of the best offseason in baseball this season. But to continue the theme of developing the pitching staff
I know it is a pipe dream and it is unreasonable to compare a future Phillies staff to an all-time great staff like the Tigers but could Dombrowski be doing it again.
Could Painter be the new Verlander for Dombrowski, two guys that he developed?
Could Noah Song be the new Max Scherzer, a guy Dombrowski targeted from another organization?
Could other drafted pitchers like McGarry and Abel fill in to key roles like Drew Smyly and Rick Porcello?
Is Taijuan Walker this team’s Aníbal Sánchez?
Oh, and there is still Nola and Wheeler two guys with 3 top 5 Cy Young finishes of their own. Just 22 more and this staff can catch that 2014 Tigers pitching staff.