The Boston Red Sox front office traded for the most expensive starting pitcher on the market, Drew Pomeranz, giving up a top prospect to make it happen. It landed reliever Brad Ziegler for a pittance in prospects, a steal of a deal for Boston that folks in the industry are still trying to figure out, especially in a summer in which the prices for short relievers have reached heights never seen before. The Red Sox also traded for Aaron Hill, to take some at-bats at third base.
This is all on top of the team's work going into the 2016 season, including paying a record $217 million for David Price, trading for closer Craig Kimbrel and demonstrating the will to win by benching Pablo Sandoval before the end of spring training. And some good stuff has happened: a best-ever performance by the 40-year-old David Ortiz; the surprising breakout of Steven Wright from an extra starter into an All-Star; and the maturation of MVP candidates Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox lead the majors in runs, by a relatively wide margin.
In spite of all that, however, the Red Sox are in third place in the AL East, 2 ½ games behind the Baltimore Orioles and a half-game behind the Blue Jays. Boston continues to be tied through rumor or speculation to just about every good player being dangled on the trade market, from Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Chicago aces Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
But should the Boston front office be expected to keep spending prospect farm-system resources that were built up under former GM Ben Cherington? Haven't enough moves been made already?
No, it seems like the fate of the 2016 Red Sox should come down to this: The players on their stacked roster need to perform better.