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As trade deadline rumors start, remember Dave Dombrowski hasn't steered Red Sox wrong yet

Alex Reimer
June 14, 2018 - 12:09 pm

It’s chic in baseball circles to chide Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski for gutting his teams' farm systems. That’s why, whenever the trade deadline starts to approach, panicked diehards make snarky jokes about Dombrowski dealing away Jay Groome or another future All-Star for that summer’s rental reliever de jour. 

There’s little doubt the Red Sox will be at the center of trade deadline speculation over the next six weeks. They have the most wins in baseball and it should be a buyer’s market, since an ungodly number of teams decided to punt on the season long before the first pitch was thrown. Plus, Dombrowski is a dealmaker. Much like Danny Ainge, there’s always the assumption he’ll be up to something.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal threw out the possibility Thursday of the Red Sox acquiring Manny Machado. Citing the Sox’ 28th-ranked OPS at third base, Rosenthal said poaching Machado would be the “vintage Dombrowski summer.” In return, Rosenthal theorized the Red Sox would give up Rafael Devers and his five-plus-years of team control.

The Machado speculation is unfounded, says’s Rob Bradford. Still, it’s a reminder that Red Sox fans will once again be faced with the possibility of Dombrowski mortgaging the farm. His track record says they shouldn’t fret. 

Ever since Dombrowski took over the Red Sox’ baseball operations department in August 2015, he’s traded away six prospects who were ranked in the organization’s top-10. None of them have made any impact in the Major Leagues.

Manuel Margot (OF) and Javy Guerra (shortstop) to Padres for Craig Kimbrel

Kimbrel has been one of the most dominant closers in baseball over the last three seasons. Margot, meanwhile, was an average big leaguer in 2017, slashing .263/.313/.409 with 13 home runs and 17 doubles in 126 games. This season, he’s slashing .223/.386/.330 with just one home run in 54 contests.

Plus, Margot plays outfield. There’s no room for him here. 

Guerra has only plyted two games with the Padres this season. He has .616 OPS in Triple-A. 

Verdict: Not missed

Anderson Espinoza (SP) to Padres for Drew Pomeranz

This might be the most controversial trade of Dombrowski’s tenure. He gave up a brilliant young pitching prospect, Espinoza, for Pomeranz, who had just 1.5 years of good pitching under his belt at the time. Pomeranz was solid last season, posting 17 wins and 3.32 ERA. This year, he’s been lousy, and is currently on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. 

But that's nothing compared to Espinoza, who's been on the DL since the end of 2016, when he underwent Tommy John surgery. Espinoza went 1-3 with a 4.73 ERA in Single-A with the Padres after the trade in 2016.

Verdict: Not missed

Mauricio Dubon (IF) and Travis Shaw to Brewers for Tyler Thornburg

Thornburg is more of a myth than actual pitcher at this point. He hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Red Sox since they acquired him in December 2016.

Shaw, who was largely viewed as a part-time player at the time, has come into his own in Milwaukee. He had an .862 OPS with 31 home runs last year and has an .847 OPS with 14 home runs this season. The Red Sox could use his bat. 

Dubon, the top-10-ranked prospect, is still in the minor leagues. But he has a .922 OPS in Triple-A, so his call up may be imminent.

Verdict: Shaw is missed, Dubon is not.

Yoan Moncada (INF) and Michael Kopech (SP) to White Sox for Chris Sale 

It seemed like Dombrowski paid an ample price to acquire Sale, who’s been predictably awesome in Boston. But so far, neither Moncada nor Kopech have panned out for the moribund White Sox.

Moncada, who inked a $31.5 million signing bonus with the Red Sox out of Cuba, is hitting .230/.318/.413 in 112 games with the White Sox. He’s shown some pop –– 17 home runs in 489 plate appearances –– and strikes out a ton (166 whiffs). 

The flamethrower Kopech is still at Triple-A, where he has a 4.70 ERA.

There’s still lots of time for Moncada and Kopech to turn it around. But so far, they haven’t been the impactful young studs they were projected to be.

Verdict: Not missed … yet 


The Red Sox are much thinner at the minor league level than when Dombrowski first took over. They don’t have a lot room for error. But if the Red Sox are rumored to be involved in another high-profile chase this summer, just remember that Dombrowski has mostly given up the right guys so far. When Shaw is your only blunder, you're doing pretty well. 

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