Hey, I didn’t want to trade Anderson Espinoza either, but guess what? Dealing him for Drew Pomeranz is a good Major League Baseball trade, because it puts you in a position “To win the whole fucking thing.”
Honestly, when Jake Taylor and Lou Brown can be cited in relation to your baseball team, you are doing something right. So while that is hardly the only reason Dave Dombrowski made a good Major League Baseball trade in sending Anderson Espinoza to the Padres for Drew Pomeranz, its where we are going to start.
Second, this is David Ortiz’s last season and he deserves to be in the playoffs for that final season because the playoffs is where he captured all our hearts. While I expect some NL to AL regression for Pomeranz, he should give the Red Sox far better innings than the clusterfuck of 4th and 5th starters they have rolled out there most of 2016 and that should get you into the playoffs where the Red Sox would love to send Ortiz off with a 4th World Series title.
This seems very important to the organization right now, and I think its because of the level of play Ortiz has shown. Were Ortiz sort of middling through I’m not sure we would have gotten the flurry of moves the Sox have made in recent weeks. The team is going to drastically miss this version his bat in 2017 and beyond, so why not try and capitalize?
Thirdly, adding Drew Pomeranz isn’t adding some guy who came out of no where to suddenly be good. He was the 5th overall draft pick in 2010 by the Indians who used him as a big piece of the deal that got them Ubaldo Jimenez for their 2011 post season push. In 2012 he started 22 games for the Rockies, 11 at home, 11 on the road. The numbers are strikingly similar given Coors Field’s reputation.
No, those numbers aren’t great, but they are sure better than Jacob Turner’s (more on him in a minute). Not every pitcher comes up and pitches to their potential in their first or second year. Pomeranz was never really given another legit shot as a starter until this year in San Diego and he has shown improved control, an increased K rate (which should go down a bit in the AL) and has shown a pitching maturity he hadn’t previously.
My theory is that he needed more time to develop, like a lot of these guys do. He never got that chance because the always pitching needy Rockies rushed him to the bigs, and the A’s kept him in the bullpen after he struggled as a starter instead of sending him to AAA to try and learn. Organizations are likely to do things like that because Pomeranz wasn’t a dog shit pitcher, and as a reliever he was relatively effective, and obviously major league capable, yet unspectacular. It was what was best for the teams, not the player, and because he had been traded multiple times, the team investment in the player was less than say his original team.
Fourth, Anderson Espinoza could turn into Jacob Turner. Who is Jacob Turner you ask? Well in 2010 he was an 18 year old stud pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization ranked as the #26 overall prospect by Baseball America. Today he is a 25 year old in the White Sox organization. The following are his MLB career stats.
Espinoza is also 18 and ranked as the #15 overall prospect by Baseball America.
Now I don’t think Anderson Espinoza is going to turn into that, I think he is legit, but he could and if he did in Boston when you could have turned him into a starting pitching upgrade for Ortiz’s last year, Red Sox nation’s hindsight would have been as sharp as it is when thinking about the Jeff Bagwell/Larry Anderson trade.
Here is the list of pitchers I don’t think Red Sox Nation would have loved trading for a guy like Drew Pomeranz, in the order they came into my head.
Casey Kelly #24, 31, 76, 45 prospect in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 respectively by Baseball America (BA).
Henry Owens #40, 44, 91 prospect in 2013, 2014, 2012 respectively by BA.
Matt Barnes #40 prospect in 2012 by BA.
Allen Webster #49, 80, 95 prospect in 2012, 2013, 2011 respectively by BA.
Rubby De La Rosa #90 prospect in 2010 by BA.
Anthony Ranaudo #67 in 2010 by BA.
Michael Bowden #83, 94, 83 prospect in 2006, 2007, 2008 respectively by BA.
Drake Britton #97 prospect in 2010 by BA.
None of those are as good as comparison as Turner because of age, but they are all close.
Fifth, Pomeranz is under control for the next 2 years. That’s huge. Not only is this a deal for 2016, but 2017 and 2018 as well. Were this a deal for free agent Rich Hill I’d be bull shit, because he isn’t controllable, but it’s for a guy you have the rights to for 2 more years.
On this topic, I keep hearing about how they should have traded for Jose Fernandez or Chris Sale and if that were the guy then sure they would give up Espinoza. WHY WOULD EITHER OF THOSE TEAMS DO THAT? The Marlins are very much in the wild card race in the NL and went and got a reliever already, that’s a pretty clear indication to me that they are not sellers. The White Sox are pot committed to 2016, they sort of did that to themselves, I think unintentionally, but now they have to sort of keep fighting for a Wild Card spot. They are 6 games out, but that is hardly insurmountable given how well they played at the start of the year. So yes, I wanted Sale or Fernandez too, but that was an unreasonable expectation.
Sixth, and relating to Pomeranz being under control still, the Red Sox were able to sign this years first round pick Jason Groome who is 17. So they added MLB ready talent and slotted in Groome to replace Espinoza, who may have been ranked higher on mid-season prospect lists if he had signed before they were released. The talent pool in the minors stays relatively the same, while the MLB roster got improved. How is that not a very simple win-win?
Seventh, you didn’t have to move Yoan Moncada or Andrew Benintendi. Those two are the keys to the future. When paired with Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, David Price, Stephen Wright and Drew Pomeranz you have an assemblage of talent, on both sides of the ball that could very easily be the strongest core in baseball.
It’s time to accept a good Major League Baseball trade. When Dombrowski flipped Jacob Turner for Anibal Sanchez in 2012 the Tigers went on to win the American League before losing to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. The Red Sox are thinking the same thing is possible, and it is. Let’s hope that Drew Pomeranz goes out in Fenway tonight and beats those same Giants in his Red Sox debut. And even if he doesn’t, its still a good trade.