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Boston Red Sox

Dave Dombrowski sounds like he’s trying to temper expectations for Boston Red Sox fans ahead of Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Because while he’s made moves that should, in theory, improve the major league club, there’s still a glaring need in the bullpen. He’s not going to get anyone’s hopes up that more help is on the way in that area.

While the Red Sox continue to monitor the market for relievers, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, Dombrowski hinted that even if he does add a bullpen arm before the 4 p.m. deadline, it may not be someone being mentioned in reports and rumors. And they may not add anyone at all.

“If I was telling you right now, [a trade for a reliever] probably would come out of the blue, more so,” Dombrowski said, per Drellich. “We still have a lot of conversations we’ve had with clubs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Kinsler trade] was the last thing we did.”

The Red Sox have been bandied about in all kinds of trade rumors ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. The latest is that they’ve shown interest in St. Louis Cardinals closer Bud Norris, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. They’ve also reportedly looked at the Cincinnati Reds’ stable of relievers, including Raisel Iglesias, Amir Garrett, David Hernandez, and Jared Hughes, according to the MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

Apr 13, 2018, Boston, MA: Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski talks on the phone prior to a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. (Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Apr 13, 2018, Boston, MA: Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski talks on the phone prior to a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. (Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Meanwhile, the Red Sox’ competitors in the American League have all added relief help of their own. The New York Yankees pried Zach Britton away from Baltimore. Now-former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna is headed to Houston. The Cleveland Indians had enough chips to cash in for Brad Hand from the San Diego Padres. The Seattle Mariners just got Zach Duke from Minnesota.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who is sure to hear his name mentioned all over the internet and sports radio on Tuesday, reports that the Red Sox are “in play for relievers”, along with the Oakland A’s. The Astros, Indians, and Yankees are all expected to add hitters – which is a bit ominous, considering that Bryce Harper is apparently on the block now.


More: Red Sox Trade Deadline Targets


Dombrowski’s comments on Monday suggest that at best, the Red Sox would likely come out of nowhere to add a reliever that hasn’t been talked about as much as others. It appears that he doesn’t want fans to think he’s going to make another deal, because such a move is far from guaranteed at this point. But it would still be a surprise if the Red Sox were actually done after adding Kinsler and Nathan Eovaldi, because bullpen help has been the team’s biggest need all season.

UPDATE: According to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal, the Red Sox have inquired about San Francisco Giants relievers Tony Watson and Will Smith, but the Giants are “unsure about selling off” those pieces.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.