Haggerty: Thoughts from P-Bruins and Phantoms

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Haggerty: Thoughts from P-Bruins and Phantoms

PROVIDENCE -- Here are five thoughts from the first period of the Providence Bruins-Adirondack Phantoms game, where the P-Bruins lead by a 1-0 score at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.

1) Team-leading ninth goal of the season for Jamie Tardif, who has really made me stand up and take notice whenever I've watched Providence this year. He made a great play blocking a clear attempt against the boards, and then turning that into an odd man rush at the other end of the ice. Tardif looked off the trailer on the play and snapped a shot glove-side high for the score. He's the perfect example of the right kind of veteran player the Bruins have brought into the mix here in Providence.

2) Good period for Matt Bartkowski, who has really stabilized his play in Providence after some early shakiness. Was involved at the offensive end and able to play his shutdown defense in a period dominated by Providence.

3) Once again the P-Bruins dominate the first period as they've done quite a bit this season, and are outshooting the Phantoms by a 16-7 margin.

4) Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn are both playing with Adirondack, but not much out of those two NHL players this afternoon. Good challenge for the P-Bruins defense and they're living up to it thus far.

5) Today marks the 20th game -- out of 22 overall -- that Jared Knight has missed this year with groinhamstring issues. He's got to be disappointed about the way things have gone in his first full pro season thus far.

SECOND PERIOD
Providence 2, Adirondack 1

1) Another goal for Jamie Tardif as a result of hard, determined work around the net. The play was created when Chris Bourque wheeled through the high slot and found Ryan Spooner for a one-timer. Phantoms goalie Scott Munroe made the initial stop, but Tardif slammed the loose puck in for the score.

2) Solid two periods for Niklas Svedberg in the pipes. His only blemish was a 2-on-1 with a top shelf shot that was created when Colby Cohen and Ryan Button collided and took the other out of the play. But otherwise the Swedish goalie continues to impress is his 16th appearance in 22 games.

3) Zack FitzGerald nearly scrapped with Providence tough guy Bobby Robins after a scrum, and then had a questionable hip check on David Warsofsky late in the second period. Would expect he might drop gloves in the third period. Yup. He fits right into the Flyers Way of doing things.

4) Ryan Spooner has got the good stuff today for Providence. Drew a hooking penalty on a breakaway in the second period that set up a P-Bruins power play and earned his 10th assist of season their power play score.

5) Six shots on net for Chris Bourque and an assist in first two periods for the P-Bruins winger. He's been all over the ice for a dominant line each time Providence has had the puck.

THIRD PERIOD
Providence 2, Adirondack 2

1) Max Sauve absolutely buried Phantoms forward Shane Harper with a hit early in the third period. Not something I'm used to seeing with Sauve, but I think that's the kind of tenacity the Bruins organization would love to see out of him.

2) 44 shots on net for Providence. That's impressive even if they were catching an Adirondack team that got into Rhode Island early this morning.

3) Two shots net between Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn this afternoon. Didn't look like they much interest in being in Providence this afternoon. As if one Couturier took a horrendous slashing call after turning the puck over to Max Sauve in his own end late in the third period.

4) Justin Florek is hanging around in Providence and scored his first pro goal the last time I was in Providence, but didn't have much impact in limited ice time for the P-Bruins. He took an ill-advised holding penalty late in the third period that led to the Phantoms-tying goal as well, which certainly isn't helping his cause.

5) Second Sunday in a row the Providence Bruins are providing me with some free hockey after things ended up in a shootout last weekend. Always appreciate that when good hockey is so hard to find during these lockout days.

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A baseball lesson: There’s trading a top prospect because you know he’s not as good as everyone thinks (a la the Atlanta Braves back in the day with Andy Marte) and then there’s straight-up dumping out the treasure chest because you’re Dave GD Dombrowski and you’ll be damned if “promise” is going to get in the way of you making a zillion trades… a la Dave Dombrowski.  

Since the start of the 2016 season, Dombrowski has traded four of his top 10 prospects by Baseball America’s rankings, and three of his top five. The group is led by Yoan Moncada, who was considered the team’s best prospect before he was shipped to Chicago in Tuesday’s blockbuster trade for Chris Sale. 

All in all, the Sox sent out six prospects in two trades Tuesday, and they’ll join the likes of Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot and others with whom Dombrowski has willingly parted since taking over as Boston’s president of baseball operations. 

Here’s a look at the players the Sox gave up Tuesday: 

YOAN MONCADA, 2B 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 1
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 1

Moncada’s eight games in the Major Leagues to this point haven’t been impressive, but using that as rationale (as some may have when the Sox traded a young Hanley Ramirez in the Josh Beckett trade) is likely wishful thinking. 

The Cuban infielder was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball by Baseball America last season. The outlet projects him as a five-tool player whose potential to hit for average and power will outweigh strikeout concerns. 

From August: 

Built like a running back at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Moncada is an explosive athlete with true five-tool potential. A switch-hitter, Moncada has electric bat speed, which combined with his strength allows him to smash hard line drives all over the field. He has at least plus raw power, with that power starting to translate more in games thanks to mechanical adjustments he’s worked on this season.  

MICHAEL KOPECH, RHP
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 5
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 5

A first-round pick of the Sox in the 2014 draft, Kopech has yet to reach Double A, but, per two radar guns, has reached 105 miles an hour with his fastball. If that number is accurate, it ranks just one tenth of a mile-per-hour behind Arolis Chapman’s 2010 fastball for the fastest pitch recorded. 

Regardless of the pitch’s exact speed, it does damage. Pitching in High-A Salem last season, Kopech struck out a whopping 82 batters in 52 innings. 

LUIS ALEXANDER BASABE, OF 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 9 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 8

The switch-hitting outfielder spent most of last season in Single-A Greenville, hitting .258/.325/.447 in 105 games with 12 homers and 52 RBI. The Venezuela native is considered a decent fielder with a very good arm. 

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same first and last name as twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe. Perhaps not surprisingly, Dombrowski also traded him over the last year when he shipped the second baseman to Arizona in the Brad Ziegler trade. 

MAURICIO DUBON, SS/2B
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 17

Maybe the kind of guy you want to keep on the same day you trade Yoan Moncada. 

Dubon is considered a very solid infield prospect, so much so that The Boston Globe noted Tuesday that “teams were absolutely drooling over Dubon’s defense and his offensive potential.” He finished the season at Double-A Portland, hitting .339/.371/.538 with six homers, six triples and 40 RBI. 

VICTOR DIAZ, RHP
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
 MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 28

The hard-throwing righty reportedly hit triple digits with his fastball this season and, like Kopech, used his fastball to his advantage. He struck out 63 batters in 60.1 innings for Single-A Greenville

JOSH PENNINGTON, RHP 
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: N/A

This is an interesting one. He was drafted as a project in the 2014 draft after learning that he would need Tommy John Surgery. He was starting to make good on his potential this past season, posting a 2.86 ERA and striking out 49 batters in 56.2 innings for Short-Season A Lowell. 

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

MORE ON THE TRADE

For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.