NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski departed the Winter Meetings feeling good about the state of his roster, and he said he doesn't feel a "driving force" to make any more significant upgrades before Spring Training.
Dombrowski created this confidence by acting so quickly on his needs. By the time the Red Sox got to Nashville, Dombrowski's one last wish was to add another impact arm for the bullpen.
Just hours after the Winter Meetings started on Monday, he did just that, getting sidearming righty Carson Smith from the Mariners in exchange for lefty Wade Miley.
"You still talk to people; we're still entertaining phone calls," Dombrowski said. "But there's really not a driving force. We have had more inquiries about starters that have options available. There's really not a driving force for us to move those players."
"Again, you can always be deeper," Dombrowski said. "At this stage of the Winter Meetings, normally you're walking away where you're somewhat -- I don't want to say pressing, but you have anxiety about getting something done. 'Where is this going to go? How is this going to happen?' It's very unusual to have things fall into place [by] this time.
"You never can tell what can happen from an injury perspective. You never can tell what happens from a performance perspective. Right now, as we sit here, we like how [the roster] shapes up."
Dombrowski struck early in Nashville, dealing innings-eating starter Miley to the Mariners on Monday for Smith and lefty Roenis Elias.
Though Smith was the focal point of the deal, Elias gives the Red Sox important depth in the rotation. He also has the type of stuff that could play as a strong lefty reliever out of the bullpen.
Manager John Farrell is excited about his much-improved bullpen, which now features four potential standout righties in Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa and Smith. From the left side, the Red Sox have Robbie Ross Jr., Tommy Layne and Elias.
At the end of the Meetings, the Red Sox traded third baseman Garin Cecchini to the Brewers for cash considerations. Cecchini was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Price. Once a highly-touted hitting prospect, Cecchini struggled last season at Triple-A Pawtucket, and his path to the Major Leagues was blocked when Boston signed Pablo Sandoval to a five-year contract last offseason.
Dombrowski came into the offseason hoping to trade for a reliever, sign an ace pitcher and get a fourth outfielder with power. He did that in strong fashion, getting the players he targeted most at all three spots.
For the rest of the offseason, Dombrowski can deal from a position of strength, only making a move that is completely on his terms.
Dombrowski has already filled his specific roster needs. For the rest of the offseason, he will keep an open mind, keeping a temperature of what's on the market and striking if the opportunity presents itself. It's a position any baseball executive would love to be in right now.
"What I've learned throughout the years is that if you win 100 games, there's still a spot on your club that's the weakest part," Dombrowski said. "So you can always get better. To constantly put the expectations that you're always going to address those places isn't something that's normally [healthy].
"To me, you're always looking to get better however you can. The reality is you can have a real good club, and as soon as you address that one spot, then there's another spot you need to address. It's always a revolving thing, because if you address that, then something else becomes your weakest spot. You just can't always address those things on a consistent basis. You're aware of them, you keep your mind open, but sometimes you let things play out and see what takes place."
"It went well. We were able to accomplish what we needed to with the deal. We were able to add to the bullpen and another starter in Elias. It wasn't even a week ago that we added David Price, so we've been very happy with the way the winter has gone. It's quiet right now. I don't think we have a lot of other moves that we're, per se, going to make. You have people approach you all the time and throw different ideas at you, but I would think we're pretty well solidified for the near future." -- Dombrowski
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.