He’s a wheeler-dealer man.
After two last place finished, John Henry realized that his philosophy may be slightly problematic. But you don’t want to just spend money for the sake of spending it (see Big Panda and Hanley Ramirez). You want a guy who has a proven track record of delivering. All season long, not just in the World Series (Panda).
Dombrowski is looking to be a shrewd dude. He saw that trading for an ace would be a costly proposition. He stated he would most likely get one in free agency, and he pulled off what I thought couldn’t be done: David Price. While Price hasn’t dominated the post-season like he has the regular season he has pitched some good games and been done in by bad luck. He is what Clay Buchholz is not: durable and consistent. He’s also an alpha dog who leads by example, and words.
The presence of the opt out clause after year 3 is actually a selling point for me. As is keeping the 12th draft pick (and our best prospects). We might not get stuck with a phantom of David Price in years 6 & 7. Then again … who knows.
But this we do know: for the foreseeable future the Red Sox have their ace and their closer. And that is pretty stinking important. In 2016 they will still have Big Papi to prove power, and a lefty bat in a righty dominant line up.
It isn’t about winning the offseason, but the real season. This helps them greatly, but as we saw in 2011, guarantees NOTHING.
Having 6 major league starters, they needed to trade one (or more). Speculation was rampant. Without the pressure of being the ace, Porcello made the proper adjustments and finished very strong. The same thing with Joe Kelly. I’d hate to trade them and see them flourish elsewhere.
Today the odd man out was Wade Miley, the Garden Gnome. I call him that because of a give-away they had while he was a member of the D’Backs. He is an innings eater whose ERA has been climbing every year (to be fair, last year was his first in the AL). He is durable but he is a 4 or 5.
They shipped him and a relief pitcher, who in his brief stint in the big last year had an ERA over 6, to the Mariners for 2 pitchers. The first, Roenis Elis, is a righty (Miley is a lefty) who can fill that important role of long relief and spot starter. Those are valuable guys. Especially if Buchholz, or I should say when, gets hurt. Or if one of the other guys struggles. Most likely the first guy out of AAA in case of a DL stint will be Henry Owens or Brian Johnson.
The other pitcher, Carson Smith, helps shore up the bullpen as another guy who strikes people out. Maybe, just maybe, Dombrowski has figured out how to build a bullpen (or had help in Wren and Hazen). He’s also under Red Sox control until 2020, the anti-Chapman.
The line up is nearly set, barring a trade (rumors have the Indians considering the Panda). Brock Holt is your uber-utility infielder and Chris Young as the 4th outfielder who can hit the lefties that JBJ may still struggle against.