With less than two weeks to go before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Red Sox find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Their minor league system has been thinned out by a handful of graduations to the big leagues (Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers), but mostly by a series of trades made by Dave Dombrowski that addressed needs at the major league level.
Some four years ago, the Red Sox had one of the game's most valued farm systems; now, most valuations have it ranked in the bottom third in the industry. (Even worse, the two highest-rated prospects are off the table this summer: pitcher Jay Groome underwent Tommy John surgery in May and infielder Michael Chavis just recently returned from an 80-game PED suspension).
Here's a look back at the trades Dombrowski made, how the prospects have fared with their new organizations and judgments about the deals in hindsight:
1. November 13, 2015: Red Sox trade OF Manual Margot, LHP Logan Allen, INF Carlos Asuaje and SS Javy Guerra to the San Diego Padres for RHP Craig Kimbrel.
Margot has been the Padres' starting center fielder the last two seasons and is a standout defender with strong defensive metrics. Offensively, however, he's been a disappointment with a career .700 OPS and little power or stolen base ability. Asuaje, who made his debut in 2016 and contributed at the big league level last season, was the Padres' starting second baseman at the beginning of the year, but struggled at the plate and was sent back to Triple-A to work on his hitting. He's since returned but is slashing just .229/.315/.319. At this point, he appears to be a utility infielder. Guerra was called up by the Padres for a brief two-game stint in May, but is still at Triple-A, regarded as a strong defender with questionable offensive upside. The best prospect of the four is Allen, currently at Double-A and ranked by most evaluators as the eighth- or ninth-best prospect in a loaded farm system. Allen's fastball is 92-94 mph to go with a changeup and curveball and he's overcome some early arm issues to blossom. It's conceivable he could get a look from the Padres in September.
Kimbrel, meanwhile, has been a three-time All-Star with the Red Sox. His 2017 season was one of the best ever for a Red Sox closer (.0681 WHIP; 16.4 strikeouts per 9 IP). In just over two and a half seasons, he's compiled a 2.16 ERA and racked up 96 saves.