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Boston Red Sox: Are they playoff bound?

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With the Major League Baseball trade deadline now in the rearview mirror, the Red Sox decided to stand pat and not make any significant deals.

Every Boston Red Sox fan in the world was begging for them to get a pitcher, someone who could help  the rotation that continues to perform below expectations.  Was GM Dave Dombrowski a bit gun shy after investing so much in David Price this past offseason? Price has been sub-par in all but a handful of starts this season and is feeling the heat from Red Sox Nation. Joe Kelly, Clay Buchholz, Eduardo Rodriguez have all performed way below expectations, with Kelly and Buchholz now relegated to middle inning work. Steven Wright and Rick Porcello are the only two starting pitchers performing to their abilities, but that’s not enough to carry a team.

The Red Sox have a plethora of talent throughout the minor leagues, Boston could have made a play for just about anyone on the market. They could have made a run at Chris Sale- a tremendous talent with a very team-friendly contract for the next few years. Perhaps it would have cost too much, but why not make a deal for a number two starter? To win in the playoffs a team needs three very solid starters pitching at their best.

Can the Sox hope Price turns it around? One would figure he can’t be worse than he’s been thus far, but I certainly wouldn’t want to rest my hat on that possibility. Will Steven Wright’s knuckleball continue to dance as it has during the first two-thirds of the year? Can Rick Porcello continue pitching as all of Boston expected him to last year?

The Red Sox had an opportunity to strengthen their rotation, to ensure a strong playoff run, and they let it slip by. Of course, a trade could still be done through waivers, but we all know what that means: an overpriced veteran in the last year of his contract. Could that help? Sure it could, but why give up a prospect or two for a three month rental who could sign with anybody next year?

Boston currently has six position players who are under 29 years old. They are young now, the talent in the minors will be hard pressed to crack the lineup within the next three years so why not trade some of the positional players now, a guy like Andrew Benintendi packaged with a pitching prospect could have fetched a decent starting pitcher.

Rumors swirled over the last week that had the Red Sox not willing to deal Benintendi, Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, or Michael Kopech, who just happen to be their most promising minor league talent.

Dave Dombrowski had better hope his method plays out with a chance at a World Series title or Boston fans everywhere will be calling for his replacement.

He doesn’t understand Boston fans yet, they bleed Red Sox blood, they love their players and they will settle for nothing less than a title shot in David Ortiz’s last year. Is that too much to ask?  Possibly yes, but like I said, Boston fans don’t like to settle, they want to win every year, and will point to the head of the organization for answers  if things fall apart.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com