Why mess with success? Dave Dombrowski is notorious for making moves and the Red Sox have some that could be moved. Will it happen?
Let’s make a deal! How can a team on such a historic tear even consider upsetting all the positive mojo by wheeling and dealing? Maybe not as much wheeling but taking advantage of situations for the present and the future. With Dave Dombrowski at the helm, you never discount the potential for player movement. But, then again, we see how quickly hot can become cold – so much for runaway’s.
Dustin Pedroia will return soon and that opens a comfy spot on the bench for those who have been providing some rather substantial support in the absence of the de facto team captain. And let’s us not forget a rotation that has been spectacular with a 2017 Drew Pomeranz and his 17-6 record taking some rehab time.
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Pomeranz is an interesting item if he proves reasonably healthy. Pomeranz is scheduled to be a free agent and that would mean a nice bounce on his 2018 salary of $8.5 MM. The caveat is that Pomeranz does what one would expect and that means reasonably deep into games and giving your squad a chance at victory.
For the sake of debate assume that mid-June has arrived and Pomeranz is holding down his spot on the lower end of the rotation. With the value of pitching a sellers’ market may be a fortuitous opportunity to strengthen any other spots on the roster that may need an upgrade. The other issue is the Red Sox farm system that appears like a wheat field locus have devoured. A chance for prospects? Worked well for the dreaded Yankees last year.
The Red Sox do have some replacement possibilities with Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson. Both await the occasional pitching crumbs tossed in their vicinity and have responded far better than expected. A risk? Most certainly, but also an opportunity. And with Poeranz’ injury history it may present an opportunity.
Blake Swihart is rusting away. Manager Alex Cora has done a very respectable job keeping the merry-go-round operational dishing out playing time. But Swihart is mostly on the outside looking in. A few innings tossed here and there is not a growth opportunity for the once-promising prospect. Being a catcher – one with a noted defensive deficiency – Swihart still has decent value. And he can play a bit of first base, left field and possibly third base with varying degrees of embarrassment.
Unless Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon fall to injury the road to getting some decent swing with the bat just ain’t happening for Swihart despite neither catcher lighting it up offensively. With a roster crunch coming by the end of April it may be time to see what type of return is possible.
Brock Holt has stepped up recently, but so has Tzu-Wei Lin who excels defensively – especially compared to Holt – and is far quicker afoot. Best of all Lin is cheaper and with a payroll about as high as Burj Kalifa in Dubai that few bucks tossed into the payroll kitty can be a plus.
Jackie Bradley is a perpetual rumor for being traded. All winter long JBJ surfaced in the various rumor mills. Would the Red Sox pull the trade trigger? Andrew Benintendi can play center field and J.D. Martinez can saunter over to left. Risky giving up plus or is it plus defense, but it depends on the package. Bradley and Mitch Moreland for Jose Abreu? A thought.
Dave Dombrowski is not the reticent type when it comes to shipping baseball bodies hither and yon. Historically a bit of the famous GM Frank Lane – known as “Trader Lane” – seems part of DD’s DNA. For most of RSN, it is just leave it alone! Don’t fix what ain’t broke! But I don’t expect that.