Red Sox reportedly would've had to 'do something stupid' to acquire reliever at deadline

Alex Reimer
August 01, 2019 - 10:05 am

There may be additional reasons why the Red Sox stood pat at the trade deadline besides complacency and an unwillingness to surpass the third level of the luxury tax. The defending World Series champions apparently didn’t have much to give.

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The Red Sox were chasing several relievers prior to Wednesday’s 4:00 p.m. deadline, but were told other teams’ prospects were more attractive, according to’s Mark Feinsand. The longtime reporter quotes an anonymous source who told him the only Boston was going to make a deal was to “do something stupid.”

It’s apparent Dave Dombrowski felt the cost for bullpen help was too high, especially for a team that’s failed to play consistently for four months. “It really came down to that we just felt that demands for what we were going to receive we didn’t want to pay,” he told reporters Wednesday.

WEEI's Rob Bradford added the Red Sox "didn't come close" to pulling the trigger for any trades. 

The Red Sox have one of the thinnest farm systems in the league, as they entered the season without any prospects on Baseball America’s top 100 list. But they were pieces they could’ve moved, such as third baseman Bobby Dalbec, who’s conceivably blocked by Rafael Devers at the big league level.

Also, the prices for relievers moved weren’t astronomical: Atlanta surrendered its 11th-ranked prospect to Detroit for Shane Greene, and the Nationals traded a Single-A reliever for Daniel Hudson. The Braves do possess one of the best systems in baseball, however, so their 11th-ranked youngster would probably be in the Red Sox’ top five. 

Regardless, it does seem like the Red Sox were actively working the phones up until the last moment. Dombrowski just didn’t think this club was worth investing in, and then four hours later, Rick Porcello surrendered five runs to the Rays in two innings. The Red Sox dropped their second straight game to Tampa Bay Wednesday, falling 2.5 games out of the playoff picture.

Of course, if Dombrowski had actually tried to replace Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly before Wednesday, the Red Sox might not be in this dire position. Dombrowski apparently didn’t want to overpay to make up for his previous failings. 

Related: Trying to make sense of really bad look for Dave Dombrowski