- The trade is likely to represent the Red Sox’ biggest trade of the offseason, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says (via Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal on Twitter).
- The Red Sox still need a front-of-the-rotation pitcher, but they’re likely to pursue that kind of player via the free agent market, Dombrowski tells reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “My thought process is most likely any acquisition we’d make in the starting pitching would first happen as far as the free-agent field is concerned,” Dombrowski. “You never know, but that would be my guess.” Lauber does note that the team has spoken with executives from other teams about potential trade acquisitions, but the Athletics don’t seem inclined to trade Sonny Gray, and ditto with the White Sox and Chris Sale. That could mean the Red Sox sign David Price, Johnny Cueto or Zack Greinke.
- The Red Sox’ decision to deal four good prospects for Kimbrel suggests a change in the team’s approach, John Tomase of WEEI.com writes. Former GM Ben Cherington built up talent in the Sox’ farm system but would probably have been reluctant to make such an aggressive trade. The Red Sox pursuing top free agent pitchers like Price, too, would have been unlikely under Cherington.
- Trading so many prospects so early in his tenure represents a risk for Dombrowski, MacPherson writes. MacPherson cites Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, who was new in town a few years back when his team sent a package that included DJ LeMahieu to Colorado for infielder Ian Stewart. “Those kind of mistakes happen when a regime comes in and they don’t know the guys as well,” says Hoyer. “They’re relying more on internal evaluations and scouting reports, third-hand information. Anytime you go to a new organization, those are your risks — and there are risks of being inactive because you’re worried about making mistakes, too.”
- The Kimbrel deal was exactly the kind of trade Dombrowski was hired to make, writes Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Abraham notes that many commentators (like FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron and ESPN Insider’s Keith Law, for example) disliked the trade from the Red Sox’ perspective, but after two straight losing seasons, the Sox have tickets to sell, and Kimbrel will help sell them. For the Red Sox, prospects like Margot and Guerra were best viewed as trade chips.