MINNEAPOLIS -- The non-waiver trade deadline is still nearly six weeks away, but that's only if you're going by the traditional baseball calendar. When the Kansas City Royals shipped reliever Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals on Monday night, it was a signal to many in the game that trading season was already unofficially underway.
In exchange for Herrera, a closer headed for free agency this off-season, the Royals obtained a package of three prospects from the Nationals, once again highlighting the idea that teams with a good-sized inventory of prospects are best positioned to make mid-season deals and improve themselves for the second half and beyond.
And that, in turn, begs the question: are the Red Sox such a team? That is, do they have enough prospect capital to become players in the competitive June-July trade market?
At first glance, the answer would seem to be: no. The Sox have graduated everyday players to the big leagues in each of the last two seasons (Andrew Benintendi in 2016; Rafael Devers in 2017), neither of whom is older than 23. They've dealt off a dozen or so prospects in the last three seasons to obtain pitchers Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, DrewPomeranz and Tyler Thornburg.
And compounding things is the fact that the team's top pitching prospect and top position player prospect are shelved — Jay Groome underwent Tommy John surgery last month and Michael Chavis is serving an 80-game PED suspension — further depleting the team's stock.
Still, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski remains upbeat that he can accomplish what he wants with what he has in his minor league system.