Dave Dombrowski has been in Major League Baseball a long time, but the Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations can’t recall an offseason quite like this.
There are a bunch of free agents still available on the open market — about 100 or so — and the Red Sox haven’t added a single big league player this offseason beyond re-signing Mitch Moreland. Boston could use a slugger after a season-long power outage in 2017 — J.D. Martinez being the most logical target — but free agency has been slow to develop, casting more uncertainty than usual over spring training.
That said, Dombrowski said Wednesday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers that he’s received a ton of trade calls this spring.
“Much more than I’ve ever had in my career,” he told reporters.
“Normally at the end of the day, I’m walking out to go meet a couple guys for dinner and my phone starts ringing with four or five things at one time. There’s a lot to be done for people. The other thing is that the ramifications, if you add a player, then you take somebody off your roster. So there’s a lot of other things that take place based upon really what has not been done this wintertime in many cases.”
This doesn’t mean the Red Sox will shift their attention to the trade market and make a huge splash before Opening Day, but it’s a notable development given the snail’s pace of free agency. Dombrowski also acknowledged prominent names being discussed in trade talks, which could be directly tied to what will happen across the league once more free agents do eventually sign.
“You figure somebody gets somebody, then they may have excess or they’re in a spot where they may get a deal for someone,” Dombrowski said. “So they’re looking to move another particular player. So yeah, names of prominence.”
The Red Sox — and every team, for that matter — obviously would prefer to have their entire roster assembled before spring training. It simply would make life easier. One must adjust to the current state of affairs, however, and Dombrowski isn’t ready to make any ultimatums about adding new players.
“I would ideally love to have everybody here today,” Dombrowski said. “But I don’t have unilateral control of that. I just think you have to keep taking a pulse of what’s taking place and to continually analyze what’s going on. This is just unique in that sense.”
“I do not know if we’re close to doing anything or not,” he added. “I don’t think it’s really changed a great deal. We continue to have conversations with a lot of clubs and agents. We’ll see what happens.”
In other words, the waiting game continues, as strange as that sounds with the season now just a month and a half away.
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