Dombrowski: Always room to get better

Sox president turning attention to Deadline after several acquisitions

Dombrowski: Always room to get better

BOSTON -- Remember how president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski took care of all of his major needs right before the Winter Meetings back in December? He has done it again with still more than two weeks to spare before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

In the span of one week, Dombrowski has made three key acquisitions in infielder Aaron Hill, reliever Brad Ziegler and All-Star lefty Drew Pomeranz.

So while other executives are scrambling to fill major needs in the coming weeks, Dombrowski can pick and choose.

"Well, I think, again, you can always get better," Dombrowski said. "There are no perfect clubs out there. But we've really been able to address our major needs at this point."

In making the trades for Hill and Ziegler, Dombrowski didn't have to part with any high-level prospects. To get Pomeranz, however, he had to deal Boston's No. 4 prospect, Anderson Espinoza.

"I like our club, but I've learned that you can say that and it's really determined on the field," Dombrowski said. "Guys have to go out there and do it. But our guys are really a driven group. I think they believe in themselves. I think they're in a situation, now you've got to show it. You've got to do it. But I think we have a chance to do that."

TRADE SCENARIO
It has to hurt the Red Sox to see Rich Hill (9-3, 2.25 ERA) pitching at such a high level for the A's. Hill started his amazing comeback in Boston last September, and the Red Sox could have retained him as a free agent. Instead, the club thought it could get more bang for its buck with Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz. So far, that has not proven to be the case. Dombrowski could right that wrong by reacquiring Hill from the A's, who will definitely be soliciting offers. Hill could probably had for less than an A-level prospect.

WHAT ARE THEY PLAYING FOR?
The Red Sox have their sights set on not only getting back to the postseason, but going deep once they get there. This is it for David Ortiz, and the Red Sox badly want their slugger to get the best going-away present of all -- one more ring.

THE ROAD AHEAD
The homestand from July 19-27 is an important one, because the Red Sox have two long trips (totaling 22 games) not long after that. All season long, Boston has been a better team at home, built around a strong offense. It is also vital for the club to build some confidence on the road by September. The Sox play 19 of their final 29 games on the road.

KEY PLAYER
Price was disappointed in the inconsistency he displayed in the first half. The lefty seems driven to have a strong finish to make up for it. His final start before the All-Star break was certainly a good sign, as he fired eight shutout innings and struck out 10 in a win over the Rays. It isn't uncommon for a high-profile player to experience some lumps in his transition to a big-market team before settling in thereafter.

PROSPECTS TO WATCH
Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox's No. 3 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, has risen swiftly through the farm system after being drafted with the seventh overall pick in 2015. Boston has had a tough time keeping its left fielders healthy this season, and there's at least a chance Benintendi could be called up by September -- or even sooner. The diminutive left-handed hitter has been ripping it up at Double-A Portland of late.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.