To the surprise of pretty much everyone, the Boston Red Sox elected not to make a move at the trade deadline.
It was expected that the Red Sox would do something, especially given the routine struggles of the bullpen throughout the season. But instead, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski put his hope in the current group of guys turning things around. To a degree it’s understandable, as pretty much all of these players were on last season’s World Series-winning squad, but to date they’ve mostly underwhelmed given the talent they possess.
So, why did they decide to stand pat? Dombrowski addressed the media for north of 20 minutes Wednesday afternoon, and he explained why the Red Sox were inactive.
“Well, we talked right to the deadline,” Dombrowski said, as seen on NESN’s trade deadline coverage. “Our primary focus was relief pitching, that was our primary focus. Not back-end-type guys, because I think the reality of back-end guys when we start getting into those conversations, I don’t know of any back-end — well, Shane Green is one guy that moved — back-end guys that any of the ones we had on our list really moved. And I think part of that was the acquisition price. … We tried to (add bullpen pieces), we just didn’t like the asking price so we went right to the very end. Some people brought up positional player stuff to us today, so again you listen to anything, I bet you I have texts from 20 general managers on my phone right now from today and more than that over the last couple days. So we tried, we just didn’t like the price at the very end.”
Dombrowski admitted that the Red Sox essentially are playing for just the wild card, not the division, and that played a role in his assessment in how much risk they should take. Dombrowski’s feelings do echo that of manager Alex Cora, who also indicated that he wasn’t disappointed with the team’s inactivity.