Red Sox: Should trading for Drew Pomeranz from Padres be considered a mistake?

Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (31) and catcher Sandy Leon (3) walk to the dugout after they warmed up before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz (31) and catcher Sandy Leon (3) walk to the dugout after they warmed up before the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Red Sox acquired a damaged Drew Pomeranz last year for Anderson Espinoza. Was it worth getting the ready pitcher for a potential phenom of the future?

When the Boston Red Sox signed Dave Dombrowski to be the President of Baseball Operations just two weeks after being released by the Detroit Tigers, they knew they were getting one of the better executives in the game.

Dombrowski was proven after winning the 1997 World Series with the then Florida Marlins. Mr. Dombrowski had also had a great run in Detroit from 2011 through 2014 in the playoffs with the Tigers. In 2012, the Tigers made it to the World Series before losing to the Giants and twice made it to the ALCS in 2011 and 2013.

Dave Dombrowski is known for being extremely aggressive on the market and with making trades. From the past, he’s willing to sell and trade top assets to get back great returns. No prospect is a guarantee to succeed in the majors. Some players are great in the minors and then flop once they get to the show. Dombrowski made one of the biggest deals over this past winter in acquiring Chris Sale for a four player package including top prospects Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.

While fans are raving over this trade based on Sale’s impressive track record, another of Dombrowski’s deals for a starting pitcher hasn’t panned out so far.

Acquiring Drew Pomeranz

Before acquiring Chris Sale and depleting the Sox farm system, Dombrowski traded for Drew Pomeranz. The Red Sox traded Anderson Espinoza to the San Diego Padres to complete the deal on July 14th, 2016. Since coming to Boston, Pomeranz has been anything – and I mean anything -but successful.

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It was later revealed that the Padres hid medical information regarding Pomeranz. Did the Red Sox trade a potential pitching phenom for a broken player?  At the present moment it’s very fair to say yes, yes it is. Pomeranz went 8-7 in 17 starts with a 2.47 ERA and 115 strike outs. In Boston, Pom managed a 3-5 record in 13 starts with a 4.59 ERA and 71 strike outs. His ERA spiked 86 percent.

There is always added pressure when playing for a team with the expectation of being a playoff contender every year. There’s no argument that the Red Sox qualify with their statistics and record over the last quarter century. Pomeranz has a short leash in comparison to Pablo Sandoval. The major reason being that the Sox are still on the hook for 3-years and $57 million dollars. Pom Pom is only owed $4.45 million this season and is arbitration eligible for 2018. Sandoval after one season and a couple games in last seasons campaign has completed changed his tune and is ready to turn the page.

Pomeranz joined Boston at less than 100%

Pomeranz came to Boston damaged. Padres GM A.J. Preller received a 30 day suspension, egregious to say the least. Preller should have been suspended for the rest of the season and the trade should have been automatically rescinded.

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It was a far cry from the punishment the Red Sox received for their involvement in the signing of international players. One could argue that not all teams are punished equally. This was not Preller’s first suspension as he was also involved in a scandal as a part of the Texas Rangers ball club. The worst part about this deal is that Major League Baseball offered the Red Sox the option to do a trade back and Dombrowski said no.

Unless Dombrowski knows something the rest of us don’t, it looks like the trade didn’t work out for the best. Pomeranz left earlier than expected from his latest spring training start after developing tightness in his left triceps. After admitting that the issue started in the 1st inning, his outing was cut short. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking three and struck out one in two innings of work.

By the looks of it, his mechanics are not there as that marks his second straight appearance, allowing two runs. The only two pitchers who ranked worse than Pomeranz’ 11.25 ERA were Henry Owens (15.95 ERA) and Tyler Thornburg (47.25 ERA).

Next: Will Sam Travis make the Opening Day roster?

At this point all we can do is hope that Pomeranz isn’t sidelined for too long. The Sox already have David Price out due to his elbow injury and can’t afford to lose many more pitchers. There is depth but not as much as management would like. Suddenly adding a pitcher who has something to prove like Derek Holland, would have been a great idea. With less than two weeks until the season starts, only then will we see if it was a mistake to not do the ole’ give back to the Padres.