Red Sox: Meet your 2017 MLB non-waiver trade deadline champions

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Dave Dombrowski the President of Baseball Operations of the Boston Red Sox walks towards the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Toronto Blue Jaysat Fenway Park on April 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Blue Jays won 5-3. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Dave Dombrowski the President of Baseball Operations of the Boston Red Sox walks towards the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Toronto Blue Jaysat Fenway Park on April 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Blue Jays won 5-3. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

The 2017 Boston Red Sox have accomplished two seemingly mutually exclusive outcomes: securing the present and preserving the future.

Dave Dombrowski was uncharacteristically very quiet at the trade deadline, although serenity is not synonymous with inactivity. In fact, while his subtle maneuvers may be viewed with disdain by the citizenry of Red Sox Nation, Dombrowski may very well be the leader in the clubhouse if the question is which baseball executive most improved his ball club.

Dombrowski’s frugality is certainly practical and understandable. According to’s 2016 prospect evaluations, in slightly over a year Dombrowski dispensed with four of the game’s top 30 prospects.

First, on November 13, 2015, Dombrowski dealt, among others, the 26th ranked prospect, Manuel Margot, to the San Diego Padres in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel. Then, on July 14, 2016, “Dealing” Dave trafficked Anderson Espinoza, the 13th-ranked prospect on the list, to the San Diego Padres for starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

Dombrowski’s most recent charitable endeavor occurred on December 6, 2016, as he packaged the No. 30 ranked prospect, Michael Kopech, along with the No. 1 prospect, Yoan Moncada, among others, to the Chicago White Sox for ace starting pitcher Chris Sale.

After the human trafficking was completed, the dust had settled, and the carnage had cleared, the Red Sox, whom a year prior to the Sale deal had an unheard of seven of the top 31 prospects in all of baseball, that quantity was reduced to three. The only remaining prospects were Andrew Benintendi, No. 5, Rafael Devers, No. 16, and Jason Groome, No. 31.

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On Thursday, Dombrowski was a guest on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria radio program. The Red Sox president of baseball operations responded to allegations made by longtime Red Sox journalist Sean McAdam who asserted, “There was a reason the moves were relatively modest that Dave Dombrowski made. Two teams that dealt with the Red Sox leading up to the deadline got the distinct impression Dombrowski was not in a position to include any of the Red Sox top prospects in any deals.” Another source in the industry confirmed that upper management made it clear to DD that the organization’s premiere prospects were not obtainable.

In response to these aforementioned allegations, DD categorically denied and dismissed them as inaccurate. Dombrowski even went as far as to claim that were a player available who was worthy of a top prospect, a transaction might certainly have been consummated. Nonetheless, Dombrowski acknowledged that after the winter meetings, the Red Sox hierarchy agreed that rebuilding the farm system should be a priority.

Although the MLB non-waiver trade deadline came and went just four short days ago, the most significant deal, by a wide boundary, is not even contentious. It was an intra-organizational deal perpetrated by the mighty, mighty, Boston Red Sox, as twenty-year-old sensation Rafael Devers earned a promotion from Pawtucket to The Show.

Granted, there were those prognosticators who were prematurely declaring the winners well before all precincts had reported. Litanies of names were tossed around: Yu Darvish, Todd Frazier, Sonny Gray, Carlos Quintana, and J.D. Martinez, to name a few. Ultimately, however, the two best acquisitions will prove to be Devers and Eduardo Nunez. Any person reading this composition is familiar with the phrase, “The best things in life are free,” e.g., love, health, friendship, etc.

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Nonetheless, that phrase does not apply when discussing professional sports; in the multi-billion dollar industry of competitive athletics, one often gets value commensurate with expenditure.

My intention for the composition of this piece is not to rehash the deadline arrangements of the Red Sox. However, with Pedroia’s placement on the DL, retroactive to July 29, and with Devin Marrero’s refusal to go on the DL, the Red Sox’s perceived lack of significant activity at the trade deadline likely should have foreshadowed disaster.

I observe the situation from a different perspective. Whether Dombrowski was ordered to keep the prospects matters little. What is significant is that it appears that we have greatly improved this team, while keeping potential major stars such as Devers and Groome in our system and en route to super-stardom. The bottom line is that we have greatly improved upon the present without sacrificing our future. As a Red Sox fan, what could be better?

However, Nunez and Devers refused to allow the perpetuation of such a mindset. With a cumulative 14 games under their belts as members of the Red Sox, could anyone have predicted the collective, legendary productivity of Nunez and Devers? Combined, in 59 at-bats, the two saviors of the 2017 Red Sox campaign have smacked 26 hits, including six doubles, and five home runs. In addition, they have stolen three bases, scored 11 runs, while driving in 16 runs. Just to provide a comparative perspective, in 151 at-bats, Deven Marrero collected 32 hits, including seven doubles and three home runs.

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