The Boston Red Sox’s roster is taking shape.
The Red Sox, who introduced David Price on Friday at Fenway Park, remained aggressive Monday by trading Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Carson Smith and Roenis Elias on the first day of the 2015 Major League Baseball winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
The deal simultaneously alleviates Boston’s rotation logjam behind Price and bolsters the Red Sox’s bullpen in front of All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres last month. Boston’s pitching staff, which struggled for much of 2015, suddenly looks formidable.
Dave Dombrowski, who has gone full-throttle since taking over as Red Sox president of baseball operations in August, met with the media shortly after Boston completed its trade with Seattle. Manager John Farrell also shed some light on how he plans to deploy the Red Sox’s relievers in 2016.
Let’s run down some notes from Day 1 of the winter meetings.
— It would be premature to say the Red Sox’s roster is set, but Dombrowski sounds pleased with the current state of affairs.
— Want to know more about Smith? Read here, but also check out the following reviews.
— Of Elias’ 51 career appearances, 49 have been starts. That doesn’t mean the Red Sox won’t consider him for a bullpen role, though.
Elias limited left-handed hitters to a .227 average and a .299 on-base percentage in 2015, making him a potential left-on-left option out of the ‘pen if the Sox opt to go that route.
— Koji Uehara will pitch the eighth inning, according to Farrell. That presumably leaves Smith and Junichi Tazawa to handle the sixth and seventh innings.
— The Miley trade means Joe Kelly has the inside track on a spot in Boston’s rotation. Kelly had an up-and-down 2015 season but made tremendous strides in August and September.
Kelly went 8-0 with a 2.59 ERA during an eight-start stretch late in the season. The 27-year-old finished with a 10-6 record and a 4.82 ERA in 25 starts.
— One starter the Red Sox have no interest in trading: Eduardo Rodriguez.
This isn’t surprising given that Dombrowski has lauded Rodriguez from the moment he joined the organization.
— The Red Sox’s rotation likely will include Price, Kelly, Rodriguez, Rick Porcello and Clay Buchholz, with Henry Owens, Steven Wright, Brian Johnson and Elias also part of the equation.
— Catcher Christian Vazquez is continuing to progress in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. It’ll be interesting to see how Boston’s catching situation shakes out in spring training, though it seems likely that Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan will be on the roster come Opening Day.
— Hanley Ramirez’s offseason likely won’t include winter ball.
— The American League East is taking notice.
— So, what’s next?
“I don’t really have a specific need right now, other than to say we’ll pursue anybody we can to get better,” Dombrowski told reporters in Nashville.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@CrowdWSports