Boston Red Sox ownership reportedly instructed president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to avoid dealing any top prospects at this year's non-waiver trade deadline, according to Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal (h/t John Tomase of WEEI.com):
"Two teams that dealt with the Red Sox leading up to the deadline got the distinct impression Dombrowski was not in a position to include any of the Red Sox’ top prospects in any deals. And, indeed, another industry source confirmed Red Sox’ upper management and ownership made it clear to Dombrowski the organization’s premier prospects were not to be dealt."
Indeed, the team's top prospects weren't dealt at the deadline. Rafael Devers—MLB.com's No. 4 overall prospect in baseball—Jason Groome, Michael Chavis and Sam Travis all remain in Boston.
Instead, it was a relatively quiet trade deadline for the Sox, who acquired Eduardo Nunez and Addison Reed without dipping into the top tier of the farm system. While Nunez gives the team a ton of versatility in the infield and Reed bolsters the bullpen, the Red Sox didn't make the sort of splash that their divisional rivals, the New York Yankees, made.
The Bronx Bombers filled the cupboard in a big way, adding Sonny Gray, Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Jaime Garcia this month.
That prompted Dombrowski to refer to the Yankees as the "Golden State Warriors," mirroring the comments made by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman when the Red Sox traded for Chris Sale in December, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com:
"Yeah, I think the Golden State Warriors have significantly made some moves. I expected it. I would've been surprised if they didn't. But I think Brian probably has made them the Golden State Warriors and we're the significant underdogs, when I'm listening to the MLB Network. I would anticipate, like he said earlier in the year that he didn't know how the Red Sox would lose a game, I think it'll be the same. I don't know how they'll lose a game right now. They made some good moves. They made their club significantly better."
The Red Sox are currently a game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East, and the rivalry is as strong as ever.
But given the major moves Boston has made in recent years—including the Sale deal that sent the top prospect in baseball, Yoan Moncada, to the Chicago White Sox—it would make sense that the Red Sox wouldn't want to deplete their farm system. The Red Sox blend veteran talent with young stars, and the ability to keep prospects coming through the system when players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts hit their prime is ideal.