Dave Dombrowski has done what he has had to do, thus far.
Sox fans have been spoiled recently. In November of 2002, Boston eployed the youngest general manager in MLB history in Theo Epstein. After one season, we knew he was gifted. As soon as he got to Beantown, he traded for guys like Curt Schilling, found Kevin Millar and most notably David Ortiz, seemingly out of nowhere. The next season, He broke the “Curse of the Bambino”. He was the first man to construct a roster to the promise land in almost a century. However, are Red Sox fans discrediting Dave Dombrowski’s work thus far, due to Epstein’s brilliance?
Ownership ended up virtually “swapping” Epstein in an agreement with the Chicago Cubs for a player or compensatory piece to be named later (Chris Carpenter), after the 2012 collapse.
In August 2015, after the Ben Cherington experiment, the Red Sox hired Dave Dombrowski, as President of Baseball Operations. Since then, the Red Sox haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Theo Epstein has broken another curse with the Cubs.
But are we as Red Sox fans losing patience with Dombrowski because of Epstein’s quick success? Let’s hold on just a second.
Epstein built a winner in just two years after a century of futility here in Boston. Dombrowski has constructed a competitive team in his first two seasons as President of Baseball Ops, a team that has won the division twice. Epstein’s glorious first two years were both wild card finishing teams.
When Dombrowski got to Boston in ’15, it was kind of a strange period in time. The Red Sox were just coming off a couple of scrutinized signings in Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has shown flashes of greatness, but for an annual salary value, many would suggest a bit high for his production. The Red Sox are still paying parts of Sandoval’s salary, even though he was cut.
Dombrowski had to re-solidify a pitching staff deemed World Series caliber. Red Sox fans have grown so accustomed of having elite pitching. He went out and traded for Craig Kimbrel to replace the departing Red Sox great Koji Uehara, then signed David Price, whom many thought was the top pitcher on the market.
Next season, fans wanted more. Boston had just come off a disappointing first round playoff finish against the Cleveland Indians. Pitching, after much regular season success, was again the issue. It seemed fans were also desperate to not move their prized prospect, Andrew Benintendi, especially after losing fan favorite David Ortiz to retirement. Dombrowski managed to trade infielder Yoan Moncada and starting pitcher Michael Kopech to the White Sox, for left-handed ace Chris Sale, while keeping Benintendi.
Fans were adamant for a fresh approach at skipper and pop replacement for Ortiz. Dombrowski let manager John Farrell go and hired former ex Red Sox infielder Alex Cora for the job. Dombrowski played his cards right with notorious great uber agent Scott Boras. He waited until the market dissipated and got his power in J.D. Martinez late February. Martinez is an outfielder/designated hitter who hit more home runs, per at bat, than Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge did last season.
Sox fans need to cut Dombrowski some slack.
Red Sox now have the highest payroll and are trying to get another championship. He’s listening. Let’s just be patient.