The MLB trade deadline passed without Dave Dombrowski making a blockbuster deal, but moves he did make should help the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox approached the MLB trade deadline with two vital needs. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has never been shy about pulling the trigger on a trade to improve the big league club in a pennant race, so being active at the deadline was a near certainty. While Dealin’ Dave didn’t make the type of splash he’s become infamous for, he did manage to swing a couple of trades that upgraded the team’s most glaring weaknesses.
Upgrading the third base position was essential. Red Sox third baseman rank near the bottom of the league in essentially every category and are dead last in OPS. They managed to patch the early-season defensive woes with Deven Marrero‘s glove, yet his weak bat was a drain on a scuffling lineup.
Boston’s bullpen ranks second in the league with a collective 3.03 ERA, although that figure is heavily influenced by the brilliance of closer Craig Kimbrel. The bullpen is littered with question marks behind him. Matt Barnes has struggled to consistently fill the setup role. Joe Kelly emerged as a reliable option, but doesn’t have a trustworthy track record and is currently on the disabled list. The Red Sox desperately needed to reinforce the bridge to the ninth inning, a need magnified by Sunday’s bullpen meltdown.
Dombrowski addressed both concerns in separate deals without breaking the bank or raiding their woefully thin farm system of its few remaining desirable assets. While these new acquisitions will help, the infusion of internal options must also factor into our analysis when grading Boston’s deadline moves.