The Red Sox trade for Andrew Cashner means they are all-in for 2019

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Torey Lovullo
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Torey Lovullo /

The Boston Red Sox are in a race that they intend to win. The finish line of that race is the playoffs and this team is now all-in.

The decision has already been formulated on the 2019 Boston Red Sox and the reality is it is two possible outcomes based on a perception of success in making the playoffs. The infusion of another Wild Card option a few seasons in the rear view mirror offers an intriguing addition to the possibilities of teams making a buy, sell, or hold decisions. A further complication is the hard-line on transactions after the July 31st trade deadline that limits decision-making.

As an amateur student of history, it is reminiscent of Dwight Eisenhower having two public pronouncements ready regarding the invasion of Europe in 1944 – one for failure and one for success. With the Red Sox, it is either all in or all out. The recent trade for Andrew Cashner has given the direction of management – all in.

Forget a partial sell.  Forget Mookie Betts heading elsewhere unless the Red Sox get an offer of such magnitude they have to act.

The Red Sox are a languishing team that takes a step forward and then a step backward. The weakness does not take any great insight as even Captain Obvious knows that the weak link is located on that little bump in the middle of the infield.

To improve, the Red Sox need pitching stability and that does not mean trolling for baseball flotsam since we have an abundance of that located mostly in the bullpen. The addition of Cashner will (hopefully) lessen the load on a bullpen that is rough around the edges.

The all-out option is one that certainly represents a surrender to the 2019 season.  A white flag replacing the World Series banner at Fenway Park. But within such a move is the impetus for a partial rebuild. That option is not confined to the dustbin of Red Sox history as Boston will pursue the WC option – which is rapidly becoming the pathway to the playoffs.

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There is certainly more work for the industrious Dombrowski in the next few weeks and that revolves around stabilizing the bullpen. The game plan is Cashner will eat innings, but the bullpen crew does not inspire great waves of confidence when manager Alex Cora gives the hook to a starter. The hope is that recently physically rehabilitated Nathan Eovaldi will alleviate the frustrating crap shoot at the end of the game.

The finger-pointing is an easy exercise and Dombrowski simply screwed up in the offseason by ignoring strengthening his staff and relying internally upon and dredging up the Colten Brewer’s of the baseball world. But Dombrowski is a well-seasoned executive and what is the past is firmly in the past as he and baseball operations will concentrate on erasing failures of the past.

Just what other deals are possible? The Red Sox have limited resources in their farm system, but value does exist as noted by the Cashner deal. Dombrowski has a long history of swapping minor league talent (potential) for known quality. I certainly expect more in the next few weeks and that means the possibility of a reliable arm to get to Eovaldi.

Betts may not be going elsewhere, but it is still a possibility and others on the 25-man roster could find themselves exported elsewhere. Jackie Bradley Jr.and Andrew Benintendi could bring an arm that is made of stronger stuff than a wet noodle. The Red Sox can certainly sacrifice offense for pitching and Dombrowski is a noted proponent of the blockbuster deal.

Next. Red Sox add right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner. dark

For now, Red Sox fans can enjoy the remainder of the season and prepare to eulogize or prepare to formulate a playoff roster. Right now the Red Sox have just – at least for me – vaulted into a favorite to gain entry into the playoffs.