Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Todays Sports)

Brian Cashman.

In the wake of the Red Sox acquiring left-hander Chris Sale to complete what could be a tremendous rotation in Boston, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman found his thoughts drifting to the NBA.

Speaking in Maryland at the winter meetings on Tuesday to Yankees beat reporters, including Newsday’s Erik Boland, Cashman compared the Red Sox to the Golden State Warriors.

“That’s a wow,” Cashman said. “Boston’s like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball. They got their [Kevin] Durant and their [Draymond] Green and [Klay] Thompson and [Steph] Curry.”

Hyperbole aside — the Red Sox did lose retiring Silver Slugger David Ortiz, after all — Cashman seemed to enjoy casting the Red Sox as overwhelming favorites, a position the Yankees routinely found themselves in when ex-Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino reveled in labeling them the Evil Empire.

Per Boland, he told the New York media that he’s not trying to put extra pressure on Boston.

“That’s got nothing to do with me,” he said. “That’s a byproduct of being in a big market and having a good team. . . . I would think the expectations of the Red Sox are sky high. I’m not doing that.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

On a team with two former Cy Young award winners — including the reigning champ — what happens when you add a pitcher everyone assumes will claim the award himself one day?

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

On a team with two former Cy Young award winners — including the reigning champ — what happens when you add a pitcher everyone assumes will claim the award himself one day?

If you’re Red Sox manager John Farrell, the first question you’re asked is who starts on Opening Day?

Conducting his annual press conference at the Winter Meetings in Maryland on Monday, Farrell told reporters he doesn’t know which if his aces will take the hill when the Red Sox open the season in April against the Pirates.

It could be defending Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. It could be $217 million former winner David Price. Or it could be potential future winner Chris Sale, acquired from the White Sox in a blockbuster earlier in the day.

“Oh, geez. Are you sitting in for Jonny Miller or what?” Farrell joked of the long-time WBZ reporter who likes to ask tough questions. “We’ll have plenty of time to figure that out. But the way that Rick emerged last year — first of all, just you think about Chris Sale as an addition, you think about the returning guys, another year in the progression of Eddie Rodriguez, I think as he continues to understand who he is as a pitcher and what makes him the most effective, David Price obviously, Steven Wright, get him back on track. And that’s not to leave out Drew Pomeranz or Clay Buchholz.

“There’s a surplus right now, but when you think about the high end of it, this is an exciting group.”

Where Sale slots into the rotation will be fascinating to watch. He’s probably the most talented of the three, though Farrell will have plenty of time to sort out the answer to that question.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Dave Dombrowski is fitting all of his Christmas shopping into one day.

Mitch Moreland

Mitch Moreland

Dave Dombrowski is fitting all of his Christmas shopping into one day.

With ace Chris Sale and reliever Tyler Thornburg already in the fold, the Red Sox made more news on Tuesday night by agreeing to a one-year deal with free-agent first baseman Mitch Moreland, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.

Moreland, 31, spent the first seven years of his career with the Rangers and won a Gold Glove last year. The left-handed hitter will allow Red Sox manager John Farrell to use Hanley Ramirez as his regular DH, with Moreland’s superior glove shifting to first.

The move isn’t without risk. Moreland hit just .233 last year and saw his production against right-handed pitching dip significantly, from .294-.876 in 2015 to .221-.700 last year.

With Sale, Thornburg, and Moreland acquired, the roster appears set. Dombrowski’s next order of potential business could be finding a new home for one of his extra starters, be it Clay Buchholz or Drew Pomeranz.

 

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Mitch Moreland

Mitch Moreland

Dave Dombrowski is fitting all of his Christmas shopping into one day.

With ace Chris Sale and reliever Tyler Thornburg already in the fold, the Red Sox made more news on Tuesday night by agreeing to a one-year deal with free-agent first baseman Mitch Moreland, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.

Moreland, 31, spent the first seven years of his career with the Rangers and won a Gold Glove last year. The left-handed hitter will allow Red Sox manager John Farrell to use Hanley Ramirez as his regular DH, with Moreland’s superior glove shifting to first.

The move isn’t without risk. Moreland hit just .233 last year and saw his production against right-handed pitching dip significantly, from .294-.876 in 2015 to .221-.700 last year.

With Sale, Thornburg, and Moreland acquired, the roster appears set. Dombrowski’s next order of potential business could be finding a new home for one of his extra starters, be it Clay Buchholz or Drew Pomeranz.

 

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Dave Dombrowski has left the Red Sox minor league system with next to nothing. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Dave Dombrowski has left the Red Sox minor league system with next to nothing. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

In just over a year on the job, Dave Dombrowski has stomped on the once giant sandcastle of Red Sox minor league talent and has left one small extension of the castle clinging on trying to avoid being swept out to sea.

Granted, because of their prospects the Red Sox have acquired Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Brad Ziegler, Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Abad, Aaron Hill and now Chris Sale, there isn’t much left to the once highly regarded Red Sox minor league system.

Consider the names that have been traded under Dombrowski: Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Luis Alexander Basabe, Luis Alejandro Basabe, Victor Diaz, Javier Guerra, Logan Allen, Jose Almonte, Aaron Wilkerson, Carlos Asuaje, Pat Light and Wendell Rijo.

Quite the talented group of players is gone and what remains does not even compare.

Below is what the Red Sox have left in their system (top 10 players in order as we see it):

Pitchers: Jason Groome, Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, Trey Ball, Travis Latkins, Roniel Raudes, Mike Shawaryn, Shaun Anderson, Justin Haley, Jalen Beeks.

Analysis
: Yikes. For a system that once had Kopech, Espinoza and Allen leading the way, what a difference 18 months make, as now their top pitching prospect is an 18-year-old in Groome, who was just drafted last year and has yet to pitch in a game past short-season, Single-A Lowell. Besides Johnson and Owens who have major question marks, the Red Sox do not have anyone who realistically can help the major league team in the next year or two in their system. The contrast to this is the team has Rick Porcello, David Price and Sale at the top of the rotation locked up for the years to come so they likely will not need to tap much into their minor league system for top talent, but it certainly is something to note that there simply is no depth when it comes to pitching in the Red Sox’ system. Shawaryn has some upside, but he too was just drafted last summer and it’s really hard to project where he will be two or three years down the road. Bottom line, look away when looking at the Red Sox’ minor league pitching depth chart.

Positional players: Rafael Devers, Sam Travis, Bobby Dalbec, Josh Ockimey, Nick Longhi, Michael Chavis, C.J. Chatham, Kyri Washington, Tate Matheny and Austin Rei.

Analysis: Yikes again. Aside from Devers and Travis there isn’t much talent coming up the pipeline for years to come. Devers’ talent softened the blow of losing Moncada, but he finished the year in High-A Salem and has a few more years left in his development before he’s ready for the big leagues. A huge issue appears to be the lack of depth in the outfield, as there’s no major league help in sight. While having Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. is great now, they won’t last forever and the organization can’t sign them all to extensions, so just know their replacements will not be coming from within. Dalbec, who was drafted this past year, is an intriguing prospect, but like was noted with some of the pitchers, he hasn’t played a game higher than Lowell. It’s also worth noting because of the lack of prospects in the system, it likely won’t be easy for the Red Sox to swing a potential trade deadline deal in the years to come involving prospects simply because they don’t have any.

While yes, the Red Sox major league team is much improved and ready to win now because of these prospects courtesy of the Ben Cherington regime, the long-term future of the Red Sox will likely not be because of homegrown talents, besides the ones already on the roster.

(For more on the Chris Sale trade from a minor league perspective, check out an emergency edition of the Farm Report podcast with WEEI’s Ken Laird and WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable.)

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Ken Laird and WEEI.com's Ryan Hannable take a look at the Red Sox' acquisitions of Chris Sale and Tyler Thornburg from the minor league side of the equation, and what's left of Dave Dombrowski's farm system.

[0:00:40] ... pushed into the background the trade for the eighth inning reliever from Milwaukee Brewers earlier this morning. We'll get that here to second but the big sale trade and the big news of the afternoon you'll ...
[0:04:06] ... base are gunning to find a back up for his visa for Hanley Ramirez because how big yard play a lot of pressure on seemed Travis coming off the injury. And then with no Major League ...
[0:08:58] ... called reckoning your points at one that he had a really great Arizona Fall League and his stock has never been higher but. Think backed you know during spring training last year his stock price wasn't any ...
[0:13:13] ... I first on the trade went down he sure looked at the David Ortiz stinging thing you know you had a Ortiz last year knowing that it's his last season why and they go pollen and ...






Ace Chris Sale is now a member of the Red Sox. (Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)OXON HILL, Md. -- The Red Sox just potentially made a more impactful trade than the one that brought them Pedro Martinez.



Ace Chris Sale is now a member of the Red Sox. (Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)OXON HILL, Md. -- The Red Sox just potentially made a more impactful trade than the one that brought them Pedro Martinez.