Let's take a quick look at what the Red Sox have done this offseason. All on the magical day that was December 6th, Dave Dombrowski traded for Tyler Thornburg and Chris Sale, then signed lefty slugger Mitch Moreland to a one year deal. Since then, they had taken some time to do absolutely nothing.
That was until they finally rid themselves of the virus that was Clay Buchholz and his $13.5 million salary. Following this deal, the Red Sox are sitting somewhere around $180-185 million for their 2017 payroll. With the luxury tax threshold sitting at $195 million, this leaves the Dave Dombrowski with approximately $10-15 million worth of wiggle room. He claims that he does not have any intention of using this to purse one of the big bats on the free agent markets, but does he mean it?
The first rule of the Dave Dombrowski handbook states that he shall not tell a lie. Last offseason, he said that he was going to go out and get an ace, a closer, and a fourth outfielder, and that's exactly what he did. This year, he announced that he would not be pursuing a full-time big money DH to replace David Ortiz because he wanted to avoid the luxury tax. So he went out and signed Mitch Moreland to a 1-year $5 million deal so he can platoon with Hanley Ramirez at 1B/DH. But with Edwin Encarnacion off the market with a 3-year $60 million, is it possible that they could get one of the second tier sluggers for a year or two for deal and an average annual value of the 10-15 million dollars that they have left?
I think it's safe to say that if last years 2nd best offensive player in baseball (Papi, I miss you! ) is only getting $20 million per year, there's no way in hell that Jose Bautista is getting that. Seeing that Boston is Bautista's prefered destination, I still have hope that he'd come here for a year or two for $13 million a year.
This is obviously a dream scenario of sorts. However, this is Dave Dombrowski we're talking about. He gets stuff done. A ring was something that Bautista wasn't going to get in Toronto and probably still has no shot at if he signs elsewhere. So maybe we see Bautista come to Boston and DH, Hanley stay at first, Moreland slide into the Travis Shaw role, and our lineup get an extra source of pop. It makes sense, and maybe we can sell Bautista on a having a shot at a ring while rebuilding his free agent stock for when he hits the market again in a year or two.
Yes, this is a very unlikely scenario. Even without Bautista we still have a killer lineup. But why wouldn't Dombrowski try to get something done? Did we actually think we were getting Chris Sale? I sure as hell didn't. We have one of the best deal makers that baseball has ever seen. So I'm going to leave my faith in the hands of Dave Dombrowski. Why? Because he hasn't failed me yet.
Photo Credit: (Boston Herald)