By Michael Jarosz
With David Ortiz retired after a bittersweet ending to the 2016 season, the Boston Red are apparently going all in for a World Series title. Dave Dombrowski has made many great moves for the club that have led to them being playoff-bound, including the David Price acquisition for the 2016 season. Sadly, Price performed under expectations, and the rotation for Boston was shaky for most of the season. Another ace has come onto the table however, being Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox. Sale was the American League starter for the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego and finished his season with a 17-10 record alongside a 3.34 ERA. Sale is undoubtedly an ace starter that headlines a fantastic rotation going into the spring. The question is though, was too much given up for him and the others.
In exchange for Sale, the Red Sox gave up top prospects in Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, as the former of the two was a Cuban star Boston obtained for $63 million. The latter has a flamethrower arm capable of reaching triple digits with his fastball. Two top prospects taken away hurt Boston’s farm system and help Chicago’s. Another deal made in the offseason was sending third baseman Travis Shaw to Milwaukee with three other prospects in exchange for reliever Tyler Thornburg. Thornburg had a strong 2016 with a 2.15 ERA over 67 innings, but the fact remains that more of Boston’s highly touted farm system is being torn away.
The three significant moves the Red Sox made for the 2017 campaign were Sale, Thornburg, and acquiring first baseman Mitch Moreland from free agency. Clearly, Boston had an excellent team going into the 2016 postseason, but now several pieces have been stripped away. Key pieces of the Red Sox bullpen, including Koji Uehara and Brad Ziegler have been acquired by other teams, and the presence of Ortiz is no longer apparent. Many hitters will have to step up and achieve more than what they were able to during the tail end of their season.
Do the deals make a great team? On paper, yes. But if something falls out of place, there’s only so few ways Boston can cope with it now that their farm system’s been practically emptied. Either way, an exciting season is to come for baseball fans.