Heading into the season, the dynamic Boston Red Sox did not need to do much.

But priority one was obvious. Boston needed a dependable reliever to solidify the bullpen. Dominating with a deep pen is a path to playoff success.

And so Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski pulled out his cellphone and began to deal.

Dombrowski pulled in a:

First baseman.

Starting pitcher.

Second baseman.

And, and … that’s it.

On Tuesday, before the 4 p.m. trade deadline, 39 trades were consummated … none by Dombrowski.

No new relievers.

No problem, Dombrowski told the media in Boston.

“A lot of people talk about our bullpen,” he said, “but we like our bullpen.”

Do you, Red Sox fans?

Boston naturally has high hopes in the playoffs. If the Red Sox falter because the bats go quiet, fans will boo the hitters.

If Boston is eliminated because the starting pitchers give it up, they will take the heat.

But if leads are blown by the bullpen, and the Red Sox exit in early October, all the blame goes to Dombrowski.

The three trades Dombrowski made were applaudable, acquiring first baseman Steve Pearce, starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and, on late Monday night, second baseman Ian Kinsler.

Interestingly, Dombrowski traded two of his relievers for Kinsler. But while Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez were on the 40-man roster, they never made it to Fenway.

But attracting a reliever proved difficult for Dombrowski.

Either Dombrowski could not find a good, attainable deal, or he truly believes in his bullpen. Or, more likely, there’s truth in both theories.

Boston could have used a hard-throwing left-hander and the two best available were San Diego’s Brad Hand and Baltimore’s Zach Britton.

Cleveland pounced on Hand and paid heavily, trading Francisco Mejia, considered the best catching prospect in baseball.

Every contender wanted Britton and the Yankees won the bidding with three pitching prospects, headed by Dillon Tate.

There were other relievers, but either the price was too high or Dombrowski did not want them. Notably, several good relievers (the Red’s Raisel Iglesias, San Diego’s Kirby Yates and Miami’s Kyle Barraclough) were not traded. Too pricey or taken off the market.

Boston could have welcomed back Miami’s right-hander Brad Ziegler, now 38. Ziegler, whom the Red Sox traded for in 2016, was traded to Arizona.

But Dombrowski likes his guys.

A couple week ago, that seemed crazy. Boston has All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, along with Matt Barnes (2.35 ERA, 1.09 WHIP). Heath Hembree was coming along, but who else?

Here’s who:

Ryan Brasier, the minor league free agent, is turning into the find of the season, with a 0.90 ERA (and 0.90 WHIP) in nine outings. He seems to be gaining more trust.

Then there is the resurgence of Tyler Thornburg, the constantly injured veteran who appeared to be Dombrowski’s worst trade (sending Travis Shaw to Milwaukee). Finally off the disabled list, Thornburg has a 5.19 ERA. But his last five outings: No runs, one hit, no walks, five strikeouts.

Joe Kelly started with two sizzling months but has been terrible since June.

In three of his last four outings: one hit no runs. The trust is still rebuilding on Kelly.

Hector Velazquez (2.45 ERA/1.48 WHIP) has been a dependable long man in the bullpen and Brandon Workman (2.89/1.02) just got back from Pawtucket.

Drew Pomeranz could be an intriguing option for the pen since he won’t be in the playoff rotation (right?) and is a lefty with some stuff.

Left-hander Bobby Poyner looked fine in his 10 appearances (1.19/1.22) but has not been in the majors since June 6. He’s performing in Pawtucket (2.35/1.04) and could prove himself this month or next.

Speaking of Pawtucket, two Sea Dogs relievers just arrived there. Travis Lakins (0.86 as a reliever with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings) and Matt Gorst (0.00 ERA in 201/3 innings).

They are longshots, but this month will tell a lot.

Dombrowski has options. He says the talent is there for a strong bullpen.

Boston’s hopes in the playoffs could depend on it.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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