Red Sox notes: Nava to DL, Lavarnway called up

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Red Sox notes: Nava to DL, Lavarnway called up

BOSTON A day after the non-waiver trading deadline, the Red Sox were not done making roster moves.What would a day in Beantown be without a roster move? manager Bobby Valentine jokingly inquired of the assembled media before Wednesdays season and series finale against the Tigers at Fenway Park.This time, though, has been a common theme for the Sox this season, the moves were because of health.Outfielder Daniel Nava was placed on the disabled list with soreness in both wrists. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place on the roster. With both Mike Aviles (turf toe) and Kelly Shoppach (sore shin) ailing, Valentine was looking to Lavarnway to provide help from the right-hand side of the plate.Left-hander Craig Breslow, acquired Tuesday from the Diamondbacks, had not yet arrived at Fenway Park. When he does, right-hander Clayton Mortensen, who earned the win Tuesday, will likely be optioned back to Pawtucket.Daniel Nava, who has been playing with a little banged up wrist--actually, both of his wrists have been bothering him a little -- were just going to make sure that he gets fully healed and put him on the disabled list, Valentine said. And considering that Mike is still dealing with his toe and Kelly Shoppach is dealing with his shin situation, Ryan Lavarnways here for that right-handed protection that well need later in the game.If Breslow arrives in time, well have to make another move.Valentine said Shoppach fouled several balls off his shin, causing the soreness, which should not require a DL stint.
-- Valentine has been a big fan of Lavarnways since watching him in spring training. In 83 games with Pawtucket, Lavarnway is hitting .295 with eight home runs and 43 RBI for a .376 on-base percentage and .439 slugging percentage.I loved him in spring training and since hes continued to make improvements, Valentine said. Offensively, Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler says hes definitely ready and will continue to improve and we hope he continues his improvements, and defensively the same. Hes ready but we want him to continue to improve.-- David Ortiz, on the DL since July 17 with a right Achilles strain, is progressing. However, there is still no timetable for him to come off the DL, which he was eligible to do today.Yesterdays batting practice was great but he still was a little hesitant to run or jump or move quickly, Valentine said. He said today when he woke up was the first day he had no pain walking. And so he was going to do some agility work out on the field. Obviously because of the pregame rain, its being moved to the exercise room or something where hell do some light work. But it wont be really what we wanted. Hes getting closer, that being said.
-- With Josh Beckett ailing, left-hander Franklin Morales could possibly move back to the rotation. Morales, 2-2, with a 3.32 ERA, made five starts earlier this season.Lets say that well err on the side of caution with him, Valentine said. Theres not a formal plan for him to make a start but hes definitely in the wings. Hes been up a lot of times in the bullpen and hes thrown a couple of times in the games in the last five days. Today would be probably an off-day anyway and that would give us a little more time tomorrow to evaluate the situation. But hed be our first choice if we need a starter.
-- Andrew Bailey, who has been on the DL all season after thumb surgery, made an appearance for the Gulf Coast League Wednesday afternoon in his first outing on a his rehab assignment.
He threw 22 pitches I believe, had a strikeout, he made a good fielding play, he had good aggression out on the mound and felt good after the performance, Valentine said. Hell make another appearance in a couple of days (GCL).Valentine said Bailey would need no more than nine innings on his rehab outing to get ready. He also said he would not necessarily have to progress through each level.

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.