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Owners aim to get Red Sox under luxury tax, and are looking outside for a baseball ops leader

Owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner said they will hire an outside candidate to replace Dave Dombrowski.

John Henry (left) and Tom Werner spoke about Red Sox future plans Friday.
John Henry (left) and Tom Werner give Dustin Pedroia his 2018 World Series ring in April. –John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

In their first public comments since firing Dave Dombrowski on Sept. 8, Red Sox principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner outlined the reasoning behind their decision to part with their former president of baseball operations while acknowledging their hope to get payroll under the $208 million luxury tax threshold in 2020.

The comments were made during a 26-minute media session in a suite at Fenway Park. Among the topics addressed by Henry (who also owns the Globe) and Werner:

■ Both owners said that Dombrowski had been “the right choice at the right time’’ when brought to the Sox as president of baseball operations in August 2015, and Henry — who’d also worked with Dombrowski with the Florida Marlins from 1998–2001 — described him as a “great general manager.’’ In fact, Henry said that immediately after the 2018 World Series, he anticipated hammering out a long-term deal with Dombrowski.