Despite the rumors, the Red Sox will not make any major trades until later in the season
Spring Training for the Boston Red Sox this year has been quite a spectacle. From pictures of Pablo Sandoval’s gut to videos of Hanley Ramirez playing at first, there has been no shortage of scintillating news. Now, with the regular season drawing nearer, the rumors are already starting to swirl as to possible trades the Red Sox could make this spring to improve their 2016 roster.
Some of this baseball gossip is well known, such as the Red Sox need for another true ace. Besides David Price, Boston’s rotation is not looking very strong. So, once again, the Oakland Athletics’ young star pitcher Sonny Gray has been linked to the BoSox. On the other hand, some of the newer rumors include the San Diego Padres taking a long look at Sandoval and their possible interested in making a trade for the Panda. Lastly, with relief pitcher Carson Smith beginning the season on the disabled list and Koji Uehara dealing with some soreness, it seems as though the Red Sox may also be in need of some extra bullpen arms as well.
Well, I am hear to tell you that Dave Dombrowski is not going to make any trades until at least June. Because the Red Sox need star players to fill some key voids on their roster, not many other teams are going to be willing to trade away their big name players so early in the season. However, once June hits and it is clear what direction each team is going in, teams begin considering making trades to either improve their roster for a postseason run or hold a fire sale in preparation for a rebuild during the offseason. It would be hard for Dombrowski to find a team willing to make a trade right now — expect for the Padres.
Additionally, the Sox currently have enough depth that they should at least exhaust all of their internal options before looking elsewhere. As Christopher Smith of MassLive.com wrote, Boston has a lot of pitching depth at the moment that they can turn to before making a trade for someone like Gray. These options include relievers Matt Barnes and Brian Johnson, and starters Henry Owens, Steven Wright and Roenis Elias. It must be noted that Barnes has been extremely impressive this spring, throwing 10.1 innings in relief and not allowing a single run. Wright has also held his own, notching a 2.66 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched this spring.
When it comes to possibly trading Pablo, the Sox may as well hold onto this slugger until the trade deadline in order to get the best deal. Boston has Travis Shaw, who has had a great spring camp, to field at third base should Sandoval flop again this year. Shaw has proven that he is more than capable of being a backup at both corner infield positions. Additionally, he has also demonstrated a strong bat this spring. For March, Shaw is currently hitting .367/.404/.571 with a .975 OPS in 17 games played. Right now, Shaw even seems the better option over Sandoval.
With so many negative comments swirling about the Red Sox current team, Dombrowski may be tempted to make an early season trade in order to get off to a good start this year. However, he will wait until June to make his first big move since not many teams will be willing to make a big trade right now and the Red Sox do have internal options that they can still test out. It may be a rocky start for Boston this year, but once all of the kinks are worked out internally, then the team can focus on improving the roster with outside additions.