Last night, the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres struck a deal for All-Star starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. In exchange for Pomeranz, the Red Sox will be sending top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza to San Diego. This season, Pomeranz is fourth in the MLB in ERA (2.47), and has struck out 115 batters in 102 innings.
Before we even dive into this, let's get one thing straight: Dombrowski overpaid for Pomeranz. Pomeranz has only thrown over 100 innings once in his six MLB seasons (this year), so it will be interesting to see how he pitches during the second half in uncharted waters. Additionally, Pomeranz will be heading from pitcher-friendly PetCo Field to Fenway Park, where hitters make hall of fame careers peppering the left field wall.
However, Pomeranz is a very solid pitcher and will join the Red Sox pitching staff with a lower ERA than Steven Wright, who currently leads the American League (2.68). Pomeranz throws the ball in the low-to-mid 90s, and will help this Red Sox team win now, which is an important thing that most casual fans are overlooking. In case you did not realize, this is David Ortiz's final season. He has helped the Red Sox win three World Series, and has been the most important player in Red Sox history (Sorry, Teddy Ballgame).
Does this trade hurt the Red Sox farm system? You bet. Was the trade necessary in order to propel them into World Series contention, if they were not there already? You're damn right.
Dave Dombrowski was hired by this organization with the intention of winning a World Series. He has never been a guy that will stash a bunch of prospects in the farm system and wait for them to lose all of their value (*cough*, Henry Owens, *cough*). Fans were crying for starting pitching, but now that Dombrowski did his job, everyone is going to bitch and moan because he gave up some kid that can barely vote? While Espinoza has the potential to be a special pitcher, he is 18-years-old. In David Ortiz's final season with the Boston Red Sox, Espinoza was not going to be able to help this team win a World Series.
Say what you want about Drew Pomeranz, but the guy has had a tough major league career off the diamond, while still performing at a high level. Pomeranz has jumped around between five teams, and has even spent some time in the bullpen. Nonetheless, against the AL East in his career, Pomeranz is 3-3 with a 1.97 ERA and a .193 opponent batting average in 45.2 innings. Furthermore, incase people thought this half season was just an aberration, over his last 36 starts, Pomeranz has a 2.82 ERA and 262 strikeouts. Additionally, not only is Pomeranz a solid pitcher, but he will be under team-control for another 2.5 seasons making barely over $1 million.
And perhaps Dombrowski just flat out did not see what was so special about Espinoza.
Sure, Espinoza threw 94-96 MPH as a teenage and was being mentored by Pedro Martinez, but his numbers in A-Ball are certainly nothing to write home about. This season, Espinoza is 5-8, with a 4.38 ERA, while allowing 77 hits in 76 innings and striking out 72 batters. When you are at that low of a level, I don't care how young you are; if you have a strong arm and nasty stuff, then you should be dominating. I get why fans are upset about seeing this guy leave, but the Red Sox fan base needs to stop falling in love with prospects that cannot even go to a bar and buy a beer. Furthermore, the signing of lefty Jason Groome considerably lessens the blow of losing Espinoza. Groome has been compared to Clayton Kershaw with a devastating curveball and an upper-90s fastball. He was signed yesterday for $3.65 million and will immediately become Boston's top prospect.
I will NEVER understand why fans would rather hold on to some random 18-year-old who may be able to pitch for this team in four years, rather than getting a guy that is proven at the major league level and can help this team win now.
All in all, I love this trade and don't believe Dave Dombrowski is done yet.