By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Many are wondering why Dave Dombrowski even went to Florida this week.
The Red Sox president of baseball ops. departed this year’s Winter Meetings on Thursday with nothing to show, except for maybe a killer tan he can bring back to frigid Boston. The “hot stove” has been lukewarm at best thanks to Dombrowski’s patient approach to the offseason, leaving most Red Sox fans antsy for something — anything! — to get done.
It didn’t help Boston’s cause that the New York Yankees went out and acquired the best hitter available in Giancarlo Stanton at the start of this years meetings. To make matters even more frustrating, Boston never really showed much interest in trading for the slugger, who clubbed 59 homers for the Marlins last season. With the Red Sox desperate for some pop in the middle of the order, watching Stanton head to the Bronx to join Aaron Judge in the heart of the Yankees lineup doesn’t leave a pleasant feeling in anyone’s stomach.
Things got worse when the Marlins continued their fire sale on Wednesday, sending All-Star left fielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Red Sox continued to be spectators.
But according to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Dombrowski didn’t expect to get much done during his trip down south in terms of building out the Boston roster.
“I didn’t really anticipate much different,” Dombrowski told reporters on Thursday.
This isn’t very Red Sox-like, or Dombrowski-like for that matter. Not after he came out of nowhere last offseason to acquire Chris Sale when the lefty seemed certain to land with the Washington Nationals. That move, and Dombrowski’s other big trades during his time in Boston, have left their farm system low on prospects to offer up. That likely meaning we won’t be seeing any trades for Baltimore’s Manny Machado or Chicago’s Jose Abreu this winter.
But Dombrowski knows there is a glaring hole in the middle of the Boston lineup, and that needs to be addressed if they want to be a contender in the American League.
There is still time for the Red Sox to make a splash and address that power outage in the middle of their lineup, and so far, their patient approach hasn’t hurt them. None of the big free agents have signed on the dotted line just yet, with outfielder J.D Martinez and first basemen Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana still available. The deep pocketed Red Sox could still sign one or two of them to bolster their lineup.
The Red Sox spent time chatting with super agent Scott Boras and were expected to meet with Martinez on Wednesday. And though the San Diego Padres have emerged as the favorites to land Hosmer, Boston is reportedly “lurking” on that front. The Winter Meetings came and went without a transaction, but it’s not time to panic just yet.
The Red Sox likely won’t stay quiet for much longer. If they do, and the big free agent bats start to fly off of the board, then it will be a long, cold winter at Yawkey Way.