Santiago Espinal is a promising infielder who appeared headed to the Portland Sea Dogs sometime this summer. Before he was promoted to Double-A, the Red Sox traded him.

No one in New England is complaining.

Boston traded Espinal to the Toronto Blue Jays for slugging first baseman Steve Pearce, who would become the World Series MVP, leading the Red Sox to their fourth title in 15 years.

While Pearce was not a homegrown player, he was acquired by trading a player from the Red Sox organization.

Boston president Dave Dombrowski, who took over Aug. 15, 2015, assessed the team’s foundation, built by previous general managers Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington, and made bilateral moves, utilizing some of the homegrown talent on the field, and sending others away in deals to improve the team.

It worked.

Boston had a total of 27 players on its postseason rosters, including nine homegrown players – seven drafted or signed by Epstein, and two drafted or signed by Cherington

Here is how this championship team was constructed:


Catcher Christian Vazquez, 2008 draft (ninth round). He was the third catcher drafted by Boston that year, and became the keeper. With Dustin Pedroia (2004 draft) on the disabled list, Vazquez was the active player with the most seniority in the Red Sox system.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, international free agent from Aruba, in 2009. Once a prized prospect, Bogaerts has lived up to the hype.

Reliever Brandon Workman, 2010 draft (second round). Workman was on the ALDS and ALCS roster, but not for the World Series.

Reliever Matt Barnes, 2011 draft (first round). Barnes was the first one taken in Boston’s infamous 2011 draft. Boston got the pick (19th overall) as compensation for losing catcher Victor Martinez to free agency.

Catcher Blake Swihart, 2011 draft (first round). Swihart was deemed valuable enough to keep, even though he was a third-string catcher.

Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., 2011 draft (supplemental round). Bradley was the 2018 ALCS MVP.

Mookie Betts, 2011 draft (fifth round). Taken out of high school, Betts had accepted a scholarship to Tennessee. Boston changed his mind with a $750,000 signing bonus.

Rafael Devers, international free agent out of the Dominican Republic, in 2013. Devers became one of Cherington’s best acquisitions.

Andrew Benintendi, 2015 draft (first round). Cherington did not miss with this seventh overall pick, who reached Portland and the majors in 2016.

via trades

Pitcher Steven Wright, 2012 trade with Cleveland, for former Sea Dogs first baseman Lars Anderson. Wright was on the ALDS roster before an injury forced him off.

Infielder Brock Holt, 2012 trade with the Pirates. Holt was a throw-in in the deal sending reliever Mark Melancon to Pittsburgh for reliever Joel Hanrahan. He was an AL All-Star in 2015.

Reliever Joe Kelly, 2014 trade with St. Louis. Kelly, who was part of the deal that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals, pitched in each World Series game. He has become a free agent.

Reliever Heath Hembree, 2014 trade with San Francisco, in the Jake Peavy deal.

Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, 2014 trade with Baltimore, for reliever Andrew Miller.

Pitcher Rick Porcello, 2014 trade with Detroit, in the Yoenis Cespedas deal. Porcello was the 2016 AL Cy Young winner with Boston.

Catcher Sandy Leon, 2015 trade with Washington, for cash considerations. Leon was obtained in spring training when Boston learned Vazquez needed Tommy John surgery.

Reliever Craig Kimbrel, 2015 trade with San Diego, for four minor leaguers, including former Sea Dogs Manuel Margot and Carlos Asuaje. He has become a free agent.

Pitcher Drew Pomeranz, 2016 trade with San Diego, for touted minor league pitcher Anderson Espinoza. He’s also a free agent now.

Pitcher Chris Sale, 2016 trade with White Sox for four minor leaguers, including former Sea Dogs infielder Yoan Moncada and top pitching prospect Michael Kopech. Sale has been the AL All-Star starter in each of his two years in Boston.

Infielder Eduardo Nunez, 2017 trade with San Francisco for two minor leaguers, including pitching prospect Shaun Anderson.

First baseman Steve Pearce, 2018 trade for minor league infielder Santiago Espinal. The World Series MVP now is a free agent.

Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, 2018 trade with Tampa Bay, for former Sea Dogs starter Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi is a free agent.

Infielder Ian Kinsler, 2018 trade with Angels, for former Sea Dogs relievers Ty Buttrey and Williams Jerez. Kinsler, too, goes to free agency.


Pitcher David Price signed a seven-year, $217 million deal before the 2016 season. He won three postseason games for the Red Sox this fall, two in the World Series.

First baseman Mitch Moreland signed a two-year, $13 million contract last winter. The Red Sox had previously signed him to a one-year deal in 2017 for $5.5 million.

Outfielder J.D. Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million contract in February. Martinez, who led the majors with 130 RBI this season, has opt-out clauses after the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Reliever Ryan Brasier signed a minor league free agent contract in March.

The Red Sox have more homegrown players on the 40-man roster, including pitchers Brian Johnson, Robby Scott, Bobby Poyner, Austin Maddox, William Cuevas and Chandler Shepherd, and infielders Sam Travis and Tzu-Wei Lin. They may be contributors to future postseason teams in Boston – or trading material for Dombrowski.

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