BOSTON (CBS) — Dave Dombrowski didn’t make any major moves involving top prospects at the trade deadline, instead moving lower-level minor leaguers for rental players. It now makes more sense why he took that approach.
An industry source told the Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam that Red Sox ownership and upper management “made it clear” that Dombrowski could not trade any of the team’s top prospects in any deals. This presumably took prospects like Rafael Devers, Jay Groome, Sam Travis, and Michael Chavis off the table.
Two teams that spoke to Dombrowski before the trade deadline reportedly got the sense that he had been mandated not to trade any big-name prospects. He ended up moving three minor league relievers to land Addison Reed from the Mets, as well as two prospects outside the team’s top-20 to the Giants for Eduardo Nunez.
McAdam noted that the mandate from ownership did not create any kind of “philosophical tension” between the two sides. Dombrowski has been known throughout his career for swinging big trades involving his team’s best prospects to land star players on the major league roster.
With the Red Sox, his results so far have been hit-or-miss.
Dombrowski most notably traded Yoan Moncada, widely considered the top prospect in all of baseball at the time, along with top pitching prospect Michael Kopech to the White Sox for Chris Sale. Ahead of last year’s trade deadline, he traded Anderson Espinoza, considered the team’s top pitching prospect at the time, to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz. He also traded four upper-level prospects for Craig Kimbrel, as well as another three prospects (plus third baseman Travis Shaw) for Tyler Thornburg.
Despite Dombrowski’s restrictions on trading top prospects, he was never involved to begin with in trade talks for two of the top players available: starters Yu Darvish, who ended up with the Dodgers, and Sonny Gray, who was traded to the Yankees.
Dombrowski’s moves (and non-moves) have paid off so far, for the most part. Nunez is off to a blistering start with his new team, batting .500 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and a 1.496 OPS in just five games. Devers, meanwhile, has excelled since being called up from Triple-A, slashing .429/.500/.714 with two homers and four RBIs in seven games so far. Reed allowed a home run in his first outing with the Red Sox, but has plenty of time to prove himself as the team’s eighth inning setup man.
The lack of big-time trades involving top prospects will strike some as a relief, as the Red Sox’ farm system had already been thinned out considerably since Dombrowski’s arrival. Others may be frustrated that ownership is limiting the team’s ability to improve during what is perceived as a short window to win a World Series.
The important part is that the message from Red Sox ownership to Dombrowski has apparently not resulted in any internal discord.
Listen above as Zolak & Bertrand discuss the newest reports regarding Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox.