BOSTON — Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski should be careful not to discount two things: the impact a trade could have at a time when a team is playing poorly, and the value of having a player for an extra two weeks if acquired, say, today, rather than July 31.
When Dombrowski traded for Drew Pomeranz on July 14, 2016, he acknowledged the latter benefit.
“You get a better pitcher with you at this time, or a better player, it’s helpful,” Dombrowski said last year. “You do have him for a short time, but longer than if you waited until the 31st.
“It’s a situation where you get that advantage. You never know because, does the price go up or does it go down as you get closer to the deadline? Sometimes if you have more supply than demand, you’re in a position, if you wait, sometimes it can be beneficial. Sometimes all of a sudden organizations wait until the very end and they don’t have a place to trade that guy.”
As pointed out elsewhere, there’s not a robust market for third basemen right now among the contenders. Pitching is a different story.
Dealer Dave should try to drive down the price and bargain hunt if he's got the pulse of the third-base market. He’s usually the guy paying top dollar, so it's a commendable endeavor. But only to an extent.
Dombrowski must also consider that a deal is really the one way he can jolt the team, and remember what he spoke of with Pomeranz a year ago — “that advantage” of extra time with a player acquired ahead of the deadline.
John Farrell seems poised to do his part to spark the offense.
The skipper is poised to shake up the Red Sox lineup ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Blue Jays, and he should. Realistically, there’s not much else Farrell can do for a lineup that’s been awful to start the second half (and lineup construction always gets more attention than it deserves anyway.)
Trades, though, are no placebo, not if they’re done right. Farrell’s boss has a way to shake things up, as well, and the time to get a deal done is now — if the price is palatable and it doesn't put the team over the luxury tax threshold.
A slightly cheaper price paid in prospects two weeks from now might not be worth the wait.