It’s been said that the Boston Red Sox may have to watch an MLB trade deadline bonanza from the sidelines this year.
That’s due in large part to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s multi-year teardown of the organization’s farm system for win-now moves, which has left the Sox without the prospects needed to pull off a trade.
This was first brought to light by a Ken Rosenthal report that said that the Red Sox were not considered ‘a match’ in a trade for the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado. Or, in other words, they did not have the ability to build a package enticing enough for the O’s and their rebuild. And after the Washington Nationals acquired one of the market’s top available bullpen arms in Kansas City’s Kelvin Herrera in exchange for three Washington prospects.
It all seems quite damning, and not what a Red Sox with a litany of needs between now and the trade deadline, wants to hear. But Dombrowski himself doesn’t believe that a relatively barren prospect pool will limit the Red Sox this summer.
“There’s no question we do [have enough prospects for a deal], yes” Dombrowski told Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal. “I’ve had enough conversations, just preliminary, that I know we have players of interest for other clubs. I’m not saying what we will or will not do, but clubs have called and have interest in a lot of our guys, sure.”
But the harsh reality for the Red Sox is that the majority of the young guns that most teams would want in exchange for a big bat or bullpen help can be found on Boston’s big league roster. A ‘big move’ would likely have to involve third baseman Rafael Devers or outfielder Andrew Benintendi, too, as the Red Sox have essentially crushed and/or waited too long to fully maximize the trade values of other young big leaguers such as Jackie Bradley Jr. and Blake Swihart.
And contrary to what Dombrowski is saying, it doesn’t get much better below the Boston roster.
The organizational’s top positional player prospect, Michael Chavis, is currently serving an 80-game suspension for a violation of baseball’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Their top pitching prospect, Jay Groome, meanwhile, is currently out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.