Dombrowski undeterred after Stanton trade
Red Sox shopping for impact bat at 1B/DH as Winter Meetings open
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Finding out on Saturday morning that Giancarlo Stanton was headed to the Yankees wasn't the way Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would have picked to start his weekend.
"It didn't make my day that he went to the Yankees by any means," Dombrowski said. "He's a heck of a player. I don't think it can change what we do because we're already trying to be the best club we possibly can."
Stanton joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez with the Bronx Bombers has only strengthened Dombrowski's resolve to land a big bat of his own, which he has been trying to do this Hot Stove season. Dombrowski will keep shopping until he finds one.
Will it happen at the Winter Meetings, which started Monday and wrap up on Thursday?
"I've generally been active at the Winter Meetings," Dombrowski said. "It's happened. And it could. But I don't feel like a drive that I have to do anything at the Winter Meetings. Even though it's picked up, there's a lot of players [available] and a lot of things that will take place. It's hard for me to imagine all that's going to happen in four days."
Red Sox fans might not want to wait, but Dombrowski knows that he needs to balance persistence with patience, and his goal is to build the best team for Opening Day on March 29, not Dec. 11.
"Well, I have seen clubs try to get things done in an expeditious fashion that they later regret," Dombrowski said. "I have seen that numerous times in my career."
Dombrowski did check in with Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill late last week to see if anything could be worked out with Stanton, but was told that a deal with the Yankees was in the works.
Dombrowski also spoke with the Marlins in November, and in the end, the Red Sox weren't one of the four teams on Stanton's wish list. As the Giants and Cardinals found out last week, it wasn't exactly a productive exercise coming to an agreement on a deal for a player who wouldn't waive his no-trade clause.
The Red Sox have been more focused on finding a bat for first base or designated hitter so they can build around their strong, young outfield of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts.
Dombrowski disputed a couple of reports on Monday that said he was making it known to clubs that the Red Sox would trade Bradley to find the power bat they need.
"I don't know where those rumors started, but they're not accurate," Dombrowski said. "I can say we have interest [from teams] in our players and people have asked about our players, often. But I would say we're very happy with our outfield. Could we do anything? I can't say we can't do anything with any of our players. But we like our outfield."
In his pursuit to supplement a lineup that finished last in the American League in home runs last season, Dombrowski is staying equally focused on the free-agent and trade markets. He said he is focused on adding one impact bat rather than multiple.
Free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer is more of a pure hitter than a slugger, but he plays a position the Red Sox need to fill, and his leadership could be beneficial for a clubhouse with a lot of young position players.
"We take makeup and leadership [seriously], and all that is very important on a club," Dombrowski said. "What you end up paying for that compared to what you would pay for others, it's part of the equation. So sure, that's important for us."
J.D. Martinez is the most prolific power hitter on the free-agent market (45 homers in 432 at-bats in '17), but he'd likely have to become a DH if he signed with Boston.
Dombrowski is confident that a newly acquired bat, a reliever (preferably a lefty) and the return to form by some talented hitters who regressed last year will have the Red Sox well-positioned to match up with the best teams in the AL.
"It's a great challenge," Dombrowski said. "That's what it's all about. We like our club. If we can get better, we're going to do that. But it's really not based on the Stanton move. We're not changing based upon that. It was already our plan to get better. We not only have to beat the Yankees, we have to beat the Astros, the world champs, because our goal is to not only win our division but to be the world champs. So you have to beat the Astros, you have to beat the Cleveland Indians, you have to beat anyone else involved that's a postseason club."