Like many, all season long I have been enamored with getting another top-end of the rotation arm in Boston to help give the Red Sox that much needed push to be on par with the elite teams in baseball. However, after reading Ken Rosenthal's column on FoxSports.com highlighting the recent rumors around the league, I may have a change of heart. Here is the biggest piece that caught my eye, via MLBTradeRumors.com:
"'The universal feeling' within the Red Sox organization is that top prospect Andrew Benintendi will surpass the likes of Kyle Schwarber and Michael Conforto in terms of being an all-around player. There is also some sentiment that Dave Dombrowski 'is sold on Yoan Moncada becoming a superstar.' So the Sox could well have their long-term answers at left field and third base spoken for, or Boston could deal one of these top youngsters for a pitching upgrade. Rosenthal feels that the Sox would only move one of these two 'a true, controllable ace,' and no pitcher like that appears to be available at the deadline. Boston might go for a lower-key pitching upgrade at the deadline and then wait to pursue an ace in the offseason when such names as Jose Fernandez or Matt Harvey could be had. Since so many of Boston’s issues can be traced back to its struggling rotation, Rosenthal doesn’t think Dombrowski will or should make a rash move like firing John Farrell or trading a top prospect for anything less than full value."
As of right now, I could not agree more with Rosenthal. Up until this point, Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale, Matt Harvey, and other young aces have not been available, and rightfully so. A plethora of teams believe that they still have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, and that has dried up the Trade Deadline market. However, the Red Sox have not been willing to trade top prospects up until this point.
There is not a pitcher available that is worth giving up Yoan Moncada or Andrew Benintendi. Additionally, I am not sure that Harvey, who has been struggling mightily as of late, or Fernandez are really young, controllable aces. Both pitchers have roughly two and a half seasons left before they hit the open market and, with Scott Boras as their agent, it is unlikely they will sign an extension before hitting free agency.
If the Red Sox can ensure that a young, controllable ace will be here for the long haul, then I believe the Red Sox should go out and make this type of move. It is a disservice to David Ortiz and everything that he has given this city and franchise if they do not put a competitive team together that has the ability to win a World Series.
A move like this is going to hurt, but the fact of that matter is that the Red Sox cannot develop quality starting pitchers through their farm system. Aside from Jon Lester, in the past 10-15 years, the best arm to come out of the Red Sox system may be Clay Buchholz. Conversely, the Red Sox seem to be able to grow reliable positional players every other year.
In the long term, holding on to Moncada and Benintendi may prove to be the smarter move. However, after finishing in last place three out of the last four years, the Red Sox may need to shake up the organization with a massive trade.
Make Ortiz's last season a memorable one, Dombrowski.