By Joe Spinosa
While most of Red Sox Nation celebrates the blockbuster trade for perennial Cy Young contender Chris Sale, I, along with my fellow baseball nerds and prospect lovers, am terrified of what has happened to the Red Sox and its baseball operation as a whole. In a vacuum, the Chris Sale trade was a fair and reasonable deal, even though the Red Sox did part with consensus number one overall prospect Yoan Moncada.
One statement that many fellow Boston fans have said that drives me absolutely crazy is that prospects, even the best ones, are a fifty-fifty proposition. That statement is absolutely false, especially with position players. Pitchers are hard to project because injuries are so common. However, since 1990, the first year BaseballAmerica.com started its top 100 prospect rankings, 15 out of the 18 positional players who were ranked number 1 overall have become MLB All-Stars. On top of that, one caveat is that two of those players are Byron Buxton and Jurickson Profar both of whom are 23 years old and still have immense potential, so in reality only one of the 18 top prospects have not became an All-Star. Not only are these former farmhands All-Stars, they have also become MVPs like Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Bryce Harper, and Kris Bryant. So basically, if you have the top prospect on your team, he will almost certainly be at least an All-Star and maybe even an MVP. This is not to say the Chris Sale was not worth it because he is one of the best pitchers in the game, it is just foolish to think that we may not end up on the losing end of it.
My main qualm with Dave Dombrowski is not the Chris Sale deal, it is every other trade he has made. Since taking over as Red Sox President of Baseball Operation, Dealin’ Dave has traded Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, Carlos Asuaje, Anderson Espinoza, Pat Light, Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Mauricio Dubon. To put into non-baseball-nerd terms, Dombrowski traded away four of the top 30 prospects in all of baseball as well as 10 out of the top 20 prospects in the system from when he took over. I’m sorry but this is unacceptable, even for the most aggressive baseball fan, Dave Dombrowski has single-handedly ruined one of the best and deepest farm systems in baseball. In my opinion the most egregious offender was the Drew Pomeranz trade that happened last summer. Not only did Dombrowski forfeit the 13th best prospect in baseball for an underachieving stiff who had three good months as a productive big leaguer, he passed on the opportunity to rescind the trade after it was found out that Padres General Manager AJ Preller hid important medical information from the MLB’s database. Furthermore, Pomeranz’ performance in Boston at the time the trade could have been reversed was borderline terrible as his ERA was hovering around 5.00.
What Dave Dombrowski has done so far with the Red Sox is nothing that a casual fan couldn’t do. Anyone could have just shoved a pile of cash in David Price’s face last winter, and anyone could’ve overpaid to get Craig Kimbrel and Drew Pomeranz. Making a risky and bold move for Chris Sale is fine, and even beneficial, but when you trade top-tier prospects for average players, you are damaging your team’s future, and that is why Dave Dombrowski has got to go.
Not to mention Dave Dombrowski’s former team, the Detroit Tigers only have one Top 100 prospect, who coincidentally wasn’t even drafted until after Dombrowski was fired. Now the Tigers are an average team with aging stars without a new crop of young players, and that is precisely what Dave Dombrowski does. He comes in, he makes flashy moves that excite the casual fan, he disposes of any trace of young talent, and he leaves the scene of the crime in a state of disarray.
Five years from now, we could be looking back at multiple Red Sox championships, or we could very well see a team that underachieved and has no future in sight. Just to give a little “Spin Scouting Report”, Yoan Moncada could be the next Robinson Cano, Michael Kopech could be the next Noah Syndergaard, Anderson Espinoza could be the next Tim Lincecum, and Manuel Margot could be the next Jacoby Ellsbury, so look back at this and remember what could have been.
Just a little reminder for all readers, I am extremely cynical and see the negative in everything, but this is how I truly feel.