Leandre: Top Red Sox Pitching Prospect Should Be Expendable
Sep 16, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitches Jason Groome walks onto the field prior to a game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no mystery that the Dave Dombrowski era has been filled with eye-opening trades centering around depleting the Red Sox top-prospect surplus created by Ben Cherington.
That’s just the method to Dombrowski’s madness—proven over prospect. However, the method has been a failure for the Red Sox. While the players Dombrowski traded premier young talent for—Sale, Kimbrel, and Pomeranz—have performed at a high level, it’s only led to one playoff win in two seasons.
That being said, Dombrowski has had some pretty impressive draft selections, including Jason Groome, Triston Casas, and Durbin Feltman. But even with the aforementioned players, the Red Sox still have a farm system ranked in the 20’s, according to MLB Pipeline. Even with that low ranking, Groome should be traded as soon as possible.
The Red Sox selected the left-handed firearm with the 12th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Barnegat High School in New Jersey. The lifelong Red Sox fan got to live out the ultimate draft night dream—getting drafted by his favorite team.
Groome has already drawn MLB-peak comparisons to Clayton Kershaw, who is being discussed amongst the greatest pitchers of all-time. So why on earth would the Red Sox make a move with the 19-year-old who hasn’t pitched since 2017?
I’ll tell you one thing, it has nothing to do with his health concerns. It has everything to do with his character.
On draft night, there were rumors that Groome would refuse to sign unless the Sox offered him a hefty signing bonus in his entry-level deal. But that’s normal, the real issue has to do with the drug use and temper issues that have reportedly riddled the talented flamethrower, as well as his family.
With that in mind, it may not be the worst thing in the world to make him available in a trade for the right piece. For example, if the San Diego Padres wanted to make their highest-touted reliever Brad Hand available and Groome was the best player they would give up in the deal, the Red Sox would be foolish to let that deal slip away from them.
Obviously just letting him go would be dumb, but it’s tough to see a guy rolling through the minor league system if he can’t even get out of his own way off the field.