On August 18th 2015, David Dombrowski was named the President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. Many people thought Dombrowski would be aggressive for the search of a front-line starter either via trade or free agency. With big names like Cueto, Price, Greinke and Zimmermann available for free agency, Red Sox fans everywhere were salivating over the thought of locking down a marquee pitcher. Dombrowski has expressed his willingness to trade prospects in order to solidify the big league lineup and has even mentioned parting ways with Silver Slugger recipient Xander Bogaerts or five-tool centerfielder Mookie Betts if the price is right. Recently, Mookie’s name has surfaced surrounding a potential deal with the World Series finalist Mets. The rumors involved the Red Sox receiving top-tier starting pitching talent in the form of Matt Harvey but losing the foundation of their outfield for years to come. My friends and I have been split on this deal but that is an argument and/or article for another day if the transaction comes to fruition.
On Friday, November 13th 2015 (Friday the 13th, foreshadowing?), Mr. Dombrowski made his first splash this offseason. Not for a starting pitcher, but for a reliever. Personally, I LOVE gaining a prominent reliever since I LOVE bullpens. I think that bullpens win championships and I believe that the fine people of Kansas City would agree with me. The deal that went down was with the San Diego Padres and was centered around All-Star closer and former NL Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel.
Boston Receives: Craig Kimbrel (CL)
San Diego Receives: Manuel Margot (OF), Javier Guerra (SS), Carlos Asuaje (2B/3B), Logan Allen (LHP)
I really like this trade, even we lose four of the top 25 prospects in the Red Sox organization (numbers 3, 6, 23, and 25 respectively according to MLB Top Prospects). Kimbrel really adds a lot to the bullpen and now the Red Sox have three established guys for the later innings in Uehara, Tazawa and Kimbrel. Also, the emergence of Robbie Ross has been strong, possibly adding a fourth strong member. I’m not done there, Ryan Madson, Darren O’Day, Joakim Soria, Antonio Bastardo and Seung-Hwan Oh are all available via free agency and could possibly be formidable additions to the Sox bullpen as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings.
I’m not going to talk more about Kimbrel because chances are, you already know about him.
The four prospects we lost are surely valuable but they all have people in front of them in the depth chart. Margot (ETA 2017) has to get past Mookie, Rusney, JBJ and the possible emergence of Andrew Benintendi (ETA 2017, #5 prospect Red Sox system, and 2015 Golden Spikes Winner). Javier Guerra (ETA 2018) has to get past Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero, but with Xander playing the way he’s been playing I don’t see that happening. Asuaje (ETA 2017) has other prospects Yoan Moncada (ETA 2017, #1 prospect in the system see N2K’s Top Prospect article) Rafael Devers (ETA 2018, #2 prospect in the system) along with the challenge ousting the current starters Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval, Brock Holt and maybe even 1B/3B Travis Shaw. Logan Ryan (ETA 2019) is a very strong LHP prospect, one that I really like but the 18 year old has Wade Miley, Eduardo Rodriguez, Henry Owens, Tre Ball (ETA 2017, #12 in the system), Brian Johnson (ETA 2015, #4 in the system) and that is only the left handed pitching talent in the organization.
Manuel Margot at 19 years old is a speedy contact hitter similar to the play style to Lorenzo Cain and the Padres have definitely gained a great talent. Also, Javier Guerra has a comparable style to Jose Iglesias, with very strong defense and an average hitter at best, but he also can surprise with the long ball when he is on a hot streak. Carlos Asuaje is 24 years old and I don’t know how much I’ll miss him. Mr. Asuaje has strong bat and a good eye for the strike zone but he doesn’t have much else. I think he could make a good Designated Hitter or utility man but we have the best utility man in the business with the BrockStar. I could see a ceiling of a Jayson Werth role in an organization with Carlos but not much more. Now Logan Allen is somebody that I might miss, I think he will become a very good member of a starting rotation somewhere, I don’t know which end of the rotation he will end up on mostly because he is still so young at 18 years old.
I’m really looking forward to what moves that David Dombrowski still has in store, I know that the Indians are open to trading once top five prospect Trevor Bauer, the Braves might trade Freddie Freeman and the Mets are looking to trade a starting pitcher. On top of all of that, the free agency pool is deep this year and the Red Sox have some money to spend. I think that Red Sox Nation can expect to see Johnny Cueto in a Boston uniform next season and maybe more. I’m hoping that the Sox sign Madson, Bastardo, Soria or one of the previously mentioned relief pitchers before the offseason is over.
My predictions for the Boston Red Sox:
- Sign Joakim Soria and Johnny Cueto
- Trade JBJ to the Kansas City Royals or Minnesota Twins
- JBJ for Danny Duffy with the Kansas City Royals