Boston Red Sox General Manager Dave Dombrowski has been under fire in 2019 for his lack of moves during the Trade Deadline – is his firing justifiable?
Few can understand the reasons for why the Boston Red Sox are an abysmal team in 2019. They have two of the best pitchers in the game on the same team. Both Chris Sale & David Price are elite whichever way you want to look at it but haven’t been performing up to par. No team has scored more runs than Boston, largely in part to what Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts & company have been able to do.
It makes sense to assume that they should be one of the best teams in the game assuming they are consistent. They have been everything but consistent. A great win streak is marred by injuries and or a losing streak of equal or longer length. Every bit of hard work earned has been squandered.
Some are going to blame the ball being “juiced” as the major issue but, what else could be a cause? Consistent pitching is a large problem for most clubs in 2019. That being said, the Red Sox needed to focus on the future with 2019 appearing to look lost. One of the biggest trade chips at this year’s deadline would have been Mookie Betts. Multiple teams would have vied for his services.
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Betts is the reigning MVP of the American League. With a slash line of .346/32/80/30 in 136 games played last season, it was well earned and well deserved. Compare that to this year with Betts slashing .280/19/59/12 in 114 games. It’s not the same person and few know why. Betts has almost matched his run total from last season and has already matched his walk numbers. His ability to stay consistent has made him one of the best players in baseball. Hopefully, his resurgence is close.
Betts has registered 40+ doubles and 100 runs scored in each of the last three seasons and is on his way to doing it once more. With a salary of $20 million in 2019 and still being arbitration-eligible in 2020, his value could have been higher had he been traded prior to this season. As Betts expressed no interest in being here for life, why not trade him now and get major value?
Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make, this would NOT be one of those cases. No team wants players that don’t want to stay for the long haul regardless of if they are viewed as the face of the franchise. Before this season, most viewed Betts as such, the tide has since shifted significantly over to Bogey and Devers. Perhaps it’s time to consider why Dave Dombrowski didn’t make the move.
Reasons for holding off on trading Betts
Perhaps the backlash of his prior moves all backfiring made him nervous to pull the trigger. What would the trade package be for Betts? Someone who hadn’t been performing really all season with just glimpses of what 2018 brought, all we can wonder is what happened? Is he no longer motivated? Is he still thinking about winning the 2018 World Series?
Looking back at some of Dombrowski’s prior moves, very few have turned out to be winners. Things that just haven’t panned out the way the team had hoped. The farm system is severely depleted and is considered as one of the worst in all of baseball. Not a pleasant feeling.
Whatever the case, there needs to be a resolution and fast. With a presumed $22-24 million dollar salary in 2020, a move will likely happen during next season if the Red Sox find themselves once again out of the runnings for a playoff spot. Either that or if Betts does not explicitly state that he wants to sign with Boston long-term.
2019 looked to be good heading into the All-Star Break but the wheels fell off fast and now not trading Betts might have set the team back another year, maybe more. At this point, we can only hope that Dombrowski’s next move makes Boston better and sets them up for success.