Red Sox

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

MORE ON THE TRADE

For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.

Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

The Boston Red Sox will play two Tuesday, and they're mixing things up for the first one.

Rookie Michael Chavis gets the start at third base for Game 1 of Boston's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park after Monday's series opener was rained out.

Chavis made his first major league start Sunday at second base, but third base is his more natural position and where he played the most games in the minors last season.

In another odd quirk, Christian Vazquez will be the Red Sox's designated hitter Tuesday, with Sandy Leon catching left-hander Chris Sale. Recent call-up Tzu-Wei Lin gets the call at second base, while J.D. Martinez will play right field with Jackie Bradley Jr. out as Boston aims for its fourth consecutive win.

Here are both full lineups for Game 1, which is set for 1:10 p.m. ET:

BOSTON RED SOX (9-13)
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, CF
J.D. Martinez, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Steve Pearce, 1B
Michael Chavis, 3B
Christian Vazquez, DH
Tzu-Wei Lin, 2B
Sandy Leon, C

Chris Sale, LHP (0-4, 8.50 ERA)

DETROIT TIGERS (10-10)
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, DH
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Niko Goodrum, RF
Dustin Peterson, LF
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Matthew Boyd, LHP (1-1, 2.96 ERA)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Alex Cora on Tyler Thornburg: ‘He’s going to be a big part of what we do’

tyler_thornburg.jpg
USA Today Images

Alex Cora on Tyler Thornburg: ‘He’s going to be a big part of what we do’

Red Sox pitcher Tyler Thornburg may have not appeared in any games in over a week, but Alex Cora feels like "he’s going to be a big part" of what they do.

In comments published by MassLive.com, Cora said that “His [referring to Thornburg] stuff is there, the velocity is up there. I still feel like he’s been a little bit inconsistent using the stuff where he’s supposed to be, especially the fastball. I think his fastball plays in another spot. When he uses his fastball and it’s down in the zone just like Heath (Hembree), it gets hit. I do feel like we’ll use him, It’s just a matter of time."

Thornburg, a right hander, was traded to the Red Sox from the Milwaukee Brewers following the 2016 season.

According to baseball-reference.com, Thornburg appeared in 25 games for the Red Sox in 2018, pitching in 24 innings in relief before being lost to a shoulder injury at the end of the 2018 regular season.

Thornburg gave up 15 earned runs to his 24 innings pitched in 2018, compared to his six earned runs in just 8.1 innings pitched so far this season.

If the Red Sox hope to return to their 2018 form, their pitching will need a boost. Perhaps Thornburg can help.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.