By: Marisa Ingemi
When Dave Dombrowski came to Boston, it was expected he would deal. A little over a year in, and he’s already added two of the best power arms in the American League.
Since Dombrowski took over the Red Sox baseball operations, he’s added Chris Sale, David Price, Drew Pomeranz, Brad Ziegler, Fernando Abad, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Tyler Thornburg, and Chris Young
He’s sent away 21 players, almost enough to fill an entire roster. That includes top prospects Yoan Moncada, Anderson Espinoza, Michael Kopech, and Manuel Margot, along with a cast of others.
The former Tigers and Marlins general manager has a reputation for dealing, specifically dealing away young talent. While that might be concerning for those who want to see a drafted and developed team, Dombrowski has allowed other top talent to fill in the gaps.
If it weren’t for Rafael Devers being in the system, it might be more difficult to trade away Moncada. If it weren’t for Jason Groome, Dombrowski’s first top draft pick in the organization, Kopech might be untouchable.
A deep major league ready roster as well, which also included Mitch Moreland as of yesterday, as well as confidence in Pablo Sandoval returning to the everyday lineup, allowed this trade to happen.
While Moncada is highly touted, ranked the top prospect in baseball according to some, Dombrowski’s history shows he hasn’t ever given up young talent that was regrettable. Over his career, Dombrowski has added Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, Ian Kinsler, Edwin Jackson, David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, Sean Casey, Jhonny Peralta, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, Jose Iglesias, and Michael Fulmer.
Going the other way in those deals? Rick Porcello is the most significant name, but he went on to deal Jackson, Cespedes, and Price to add more later. He also gave up Prince Fielder, Avisail Garcia, Cameron Maybin, Drew Smyly, Jacob Turner, Gionvanni Soto, Matt Joyce, and Andrew Miller.
That looks like a win for Dombrowski.
The worst trade the current Sox president has ever made was adding Alfredo Simon, who did not pitch well outside the National League, for Eugeino Saurez to the Reds. That one bad deal however is far outnumbered.
Smyly, Miller, Garcia, Maybin, and Turner were all top prospects that risked a lot for Dombrowski to give up at the time, but they never panned out. Keep in mind as well, it’s not like his teams have lacked homegrown talent and he’s thrown all of it away; he never traded away key pieces on the Tigers such as Justin Verlander or Nick Castellanos, even when it looked like they struggled early on in their careers.
Dombrowski has historically known when to trade away young talent, and when it would help his teams. Adding Sale gives the Red Sox a rotation that would compete with any team in the American League right away, and they lose no talent off their major league roster.
The outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Mookie Betts remained intact, with Xander Bogaerts at short and Blake Swihart still on the roster. The only question as far as position players was the corner infield, which was resolved with Moreland added to replace Shaw and Moncada out of the picture.
Moreland also leaves the Red Sox out of the race for Edwin Encarnacion. His market has diminished due to his lofty price and teams looking ahead to the 2018 free agent class that includes Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.
It seems like the roster is set for the 2017 season, barring potentially another arm out of the bullpen with Koji Uehara not returning. Within one day, Dombrowski has built a roster that looks far different than it was when he joined the team in August of 2015.
He’s a dealer, but there’s purpose behind them, and it’s easy to see what direction the Red Sox are going in.