Two former Red Sox pitchers are proof that some prospects should be traded

The Red Sox not too long ago made two minor strikes that might not have triggered a ripple within the ocean that is baseball’s offseason, however nonetheless supplied an vital lesson: Hoarding prospects can result in missed alternatives.

They designated for project two pitchers who as soon as confirmed various levels of promise. First, they traded left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez to the Orioles for money final week. On Tuesday, they shipped right-hander Connor Seabold to the Rockies for both money or a participant to be named later.

Both returns had been predictably small, which is mostly what occurs when gamers are DFA’d. Based on latest historical past, neither holds a lot worth. Hernandez allowed 17 runs in 6.2 innings final yr, spending a lot of the season at Triple-A Worcester. Even at his finest, he by no means threw constant strikes, and final yr was removed from his finest.

Tomase: List of Red Sox on BA’s Top 100 prospects has an asterisk

Between the majors and minors, he walked virtually a batter an inning.

Seabold, in the meantime, was pummeled in 5 fill-in begins, permitting a staggering 35 hits in simply 18.1 innings. His stuff was completely mediocre, with a fastball that barely cracked 90 mph and a changeup that pounded opponents at a .429 clip. He had no solutions for big-league hitters.

So good riddance, proper? Maybe, besides home windows existed for every participant to fetch extra in return, if solely the Red Sox had acted.

In 2019, Hernandez piled up strikeouts like Craig Kimbrel, albeit whereas strolling the ballpark. His upper-90s fastball performed within the strike zone, at the very least when he might discover it, and he seemed like a authentic future weapon. As if to show the purpose, he posted a 3.17 ERA over the subsequent two years whereas hanging out over 12 per 9 innings.

Beneath the floor, nevertheless, hassle lurked. Even at his finest, Hernandez had walked over seven batters per 9 innings, a tempo that merely wasn’t sustainable. Given his outcomes and his capability to overlook bats with a using fastball, although, a market definitely existed for his companies.

The Red Sox ignored the pink flags and selected the trail of least resistance, conserving the hard-throwing left-hander fairly than buying and selling him whereas he had worth. Only later did they find yourself successfully giving him away throughout the division.

Seabold represents a barely completely different case, since he has by no means skilled success within the large leagues. That doesn’t suggest he lacked worth, although. Acquired alongside right-hander Nick Pivetta from the Phillies for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree in 2020, Seabold very briefly seemed like a very powerful participant within the deal when his fastball touched 96 mph early in 2021 earlier than an elbow damage shelved him for greater than two months.

Blessed with command of 4 pitches, Seabold simply wanted a usable fastball to spherical out his repertoire. Almost as rapidly because it arrived, nevertheless, the velo vanished. When he returned from damage, Seabold sat within the 88-92 vary, turning virtually instantly into Triple-A filler.

With their concentrate on creating Triple-A pitching depth, the Red Sox held onto nearly each single one in all their upper-level starters (an exception: left-hander Jay Groome, who went to the Padres for Eric Hosmer). While conserving everybody assured they would not miss on anybody, it additionally meant they would not maximize every participant’s worth.

Take right-hander Thaddeus Ward, who went to the Nationals with the primary decide within the Rule 5 draft after being left off the 40-man roster. The Red Sox had hoped to sneak him by way of Rule 5, since he was coming off Tommy John surgical procedure, however they’d have been higher served dealing him on the deadline, when he had simply returned to motion.

Tomase: Adam Duvall signing has the potential to be a win for the Red Sox

The identical goes for first baseman Bobby Dalbec and middle fielder Jarren Duran, two hitters who as soon as had actual worth and now would qualify as little greater than throw-ins.

Under Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox have hesitated to commerce prospects for worry of lacking out on a superb younger participant. One commerce they did make, sending right-hander Aldo Ramirez to the Nationals for Kyle Schwarber on the 2021 commerce deadline, certified as a smashing success even earlier than Ramirez underwent Tommy John surgical procedure final summer time.

Bloom’s predecessor, Dave Dombrowski, was extensively criticized for blowing up the farm system, however not solely did he by no means hesitate to commerce prospects, he had a knack for buying and selling the best ones. He refused to half with outfielder Andrew Benintendi or third baseman Rafael Devers within the bundle that introduced Chris Sale from the White Sox, and of all of the prospects he traded in different offers, about the one one to quantity to even a median large leaguer is an outfielder Manuel Margot.

It’s nonetheless a good critique of the Dombrowski Era that he prioritized as we speak over tomorrow. That stated, there is a pleased medium between buying and selling everybody and buying and selling nobody, and the Red Sox would be finest served if Bloom finds it.

Leave a Comment