We are one week away from the MLB trade deadline. While some big names have already moved (Manny Machado in particular), there are going to be many more transactions in the next seven days, even if none match what the Dodgers and Orioles did.
As we know, the Boston Red Sox are going to be in trade talks all the way up until the 4 p.m. deadline on July 31. Relievers, starting pitchers and a few position players are all potential trade targets for Dave Dombrowski and his front office. While we wait to see what move(s) the Sox will actually make, let’s take a look at Dombrowski’s trade deadlines with the organization. As long as we’re doing that, let’s rank them as well.
For this exercise, we will only consider deals made within a two weeks of the deadline, so any trades made in the first few months of the season do not count (Sorry 2016 Aaron Hill and Brad Ziegler). The same goes for waiver deals.
6. Traded a player to be named or cash to the Athletics for Ryan Cook (2015)
On July 31, Dombrowski made a pretty innocuous trade that netted the team Cook, a former All Star. The right-hander had been pretty solid in first few years in the bigs, including his 2012 All Star season when he posted an ERA of 2.09 and struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings. His production plummeted in 2015 and Oakland decided to part ways with him. The Red Sox only got 4 1⁄3 pretty ineffective innings of work from Cook, so it didn’t turn out to amount to much of a deal. He didn’t play at the MLB level in 2016 or 2017 but has made a few appearances for the Mariners this year.
5. Traded Shane Victorino to the Angels for Josh Rutledge (2015)
This was a pretty miserable year all around for the Sox, who finished last in the American League East in 2015. Victorino was a playoff hero in 2013, but the aging outfielder wasn’t playing well enough to be in the cards for the future of the franchise. Rutledge wasn’t exactly a star building block, but he was a useful, if seldom used, bench infielder in from 2015 to 2017.
4. Traded Pat Light to the Twins for Fernando Abad (2016)
Light was the Red Sox’s 2012 first round draft pick and a relatively touted prospect for a while thanks to some impressive velocity. With a need for some bullpen help for a contending team, Dombrowski flipped Light for Abad, a lefty who had a 2.65 ERA with the Twins before the trade and plenty of MLB experience. Abad was pretty miserable for the Sox in 2016 (60 ERA+), but bounced back to have a decent year in 2017 (140 ERA+) before hitting free agency this past winter. Light pitched in 15 games for the Twins right after the deal and was even worse than Abad (48 ERA+). He has been trying to make it back to the majors ever since.
3. Traded Stephen Nogosek, Gerson Bautista and Jamie Callahan to the Mets for Addison Reed (2017)
Last year was a pretty busy trade deadline for the Red Sox, who had major needs in the infield and in the bullpen. Reed helped with the latter. Acquired on day of the deadline, the right-hander was in the midst of a pretty spectacular season with the Mets and he mostly carried that over to Boston, posting a 140 ERA+ in 27 regular season innings. Now on the Twins, Reed has been average this year and is currently on the DL.
On the other side of the deal, Bautista and Callahan have each made their MLB debuts in the last year, but have little to show for it, while Nogosek is still waiting for his shot.
2. Traded Shaun Anderson and and Gregory Santos to the Giants for Eduardo Nunez (2017)
Nunez may be having a bad 2018, but he was incredible for the Red Sox in 2017. He slashed .321/.353/.539 with eight home runs in 38 regular season games and helped the team deal with the absence of Dustin Pedroia. That’s the type of production you dream of when making a deadline trade.
As for Anderson and Santos, both are still in the minors. Anderson is closer to big league ready, with Santos still in the lower levels.
1. Traded Anderson Espinoza to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz (2016)
This was the most blockbuster of deadline deals from Dombrowski and one that could end up being a terrible or great for long term. For now it looks pretty good. Pomeranz was an All Star for the Padres in 2016 and one of the more sought after starting pitchers on the market. He hit a bit of a wall with the Red Sox when he first came over, but was the team’s No. 2 starter in 2017 when he went 17-6 with an ERA of 3.32. Those numbers were no fluke either, as evidenced by his 139 ERA+ and 3.84 FIP. Injuries and ineffective pitching have marred his 2018, but he gave the Sox the best full season of any of these trade acquisitions.
If he continues to struggle, though, this ranking could change and change drastically. That is especially true if Espinoza, who is still just 20 years old, can recover from Tommy Johnny surgery and make good on his massive potential.
Whitney McIntosh caught up with David Ortiz during the All Star break. (Whitney McIntosh; SB Nation)
Drew Pomeranz is back. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)
Chris Cotillo at MassLive looks at each trade the Red Sox have made around the deadline the last 10 years. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)
Zach Britton continues to look like the player with the best chance of being added to Boston’s roster at the deadline. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)
Cole Hamels and Dan Straily are some other options out there. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)
Here are some others. (Jen McCaffrey; The Athletic) ($$)
Even if trades are about to be made, they don’t always have to be. Sometimes they go poorly. (The Athletic) ($$)
Heath Hembree has found his role in Alex Cora’s bullpen. (Chad Jennings; The Athletic) ($$)
Going from starter to relieve has not been a walk in the park for Brian Johnson. (Lauren Campbell; NESN)