LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Whatever gumbo recipe Dave Dombrowski’s using in that magic crock pot of his, it sure better come out lip-smacking, tummy-filling good.

Right now, though, the scene on the Boston Red Sox chief exec’s hot stove doesn’t look too tantalizing.

Go hard after Giancarlo Stanton?

Nah, the price was too high.

Tweak the offseason to-do list after the New York Yankees just leapfrogged past you in terms of talent and payroll flexibility?

Nah, we’re sticking to our original script.


Think about adding not just one but two bats?

Nah, where would we play them?

Think about maybe finding another right-handed reliever to combat the Stanton-Aaron Judge buzzsaw?

Nah, we’re set on that front.

Does the club need more leadership in the clubhouse?

Nah, see above.


Is David Price’s elbow a concern?


So it’s add one bat and expect Hanley Ramirez will get hot again, and the young position players will take a leap forward?


Well, OK now.

For a franchise that just got absolutely trolled in epic fashion by the Yankees and for somebody who has entered the hottest crucible of his still-young Red Sox presidency, Dombrowski and the Red Sox are sure acting as if checking off every item on their set-in-stone to-do list is not that big a deal.


Stanton swaggered through the hotel lobby Monday in a pinstriped Yankees jersey after his agent said Stanton had no objections to playing in Boston but didn’t put them on his list because the Sox weren’t interested in dealing for him.

That nothing about all of this triggered Dombrowski enough to make him sweat – publicly – is probably for the good.

It would, after all, be totally wrong and unfair to make any judgments on the Red Sox offseason efforts before the team made a move of more magnitude than placing Ty Buttrey on the 40-man roster.

But man, it sure looks as if the Red Sox are playing this too cool.

And that they’re engaged in the same brand of wishful thinking that led to last year’s offense (see Pablo Sandoval and Ramirez).

And that they’re not going to do enough to help their offense this year.


Whatever he’s got up his sleeve, Dombrowski also surely knows the Red Sox have a window to win that basically shuts the season after next.

He sure better be right.

“We’re going to try to beat the Yankees no matter what they do – I mean, that’s what we’re still trying to do,” said Dombrowski from behind a table in the Red Sox suite. “They had a good club beforehand. I think it’s a challenge. I think it’s a good challenge myself.

“It’s a great challenge. 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, world champs, because our goal is to not only win our division but to be the world champs.”

Dombrowski believes one more big bat will elevate the Red Sox to the level of the Astros, Indians and Yankees.

It’s why he almost laughed at the notion that the Sox could use a second big bat.


“I’ve read that but I don’t know where we’d play those two bats. I’m trying to figure that one out,” said Dombrowski. “But I would say we’d be more limited to probably one bat. … I don’t really know where that second bat would play.”

Dombrowski said the signing of Shohei Ohtani and trade of Stanton opened the floodgates of the offseason, and the pace of trade talks and free-agent signings had picked up significantly.

Remember that the clubs who lost out on Stanton – like the Giants and Cardinals – are still looking for big bats and that other teams are, too.

The Red Sox have not made their move, or moves, yet, so who knows how this story comes out in the end.

For now, the uncertainty is far from mouth-watering.

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: