BOSTON -- As Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski held court with reporters Monday, the phone in his pocket buzzed.
"That could be a trade right there, I don't know," Dombrowski said with a smile before the Red Sox's 4-2 loss to the Tigers at Fenway Park. "It's that time of year. That's what makes it interesting and fun."
The longtime executive feels that he is dealing from a position of strength this trade season. That said, the sellers will be calling him quite often in the coming days. In fact, the mania has already started.
"I can tell you today we've received five trade proposals that I hadn't received before today from other clubs calling me," Dombrowski said. "So that's why this time of year is very interesting. We also have some real good young players in our organization, so some people are looking for those players. I can say we're not close to making any trades at this moment."
Feeling pretty good about where his team is and how it projects going forward, Dombrowski doesn't feel a "driving force" to make a deal. But he's been in the game long enough to know not to rule anything out.
"I'm not looking to necessarily make something significant because we already added," Dombrowski said. "We have five solid starters. Could they be better? Sure. If we had five All-Star starters, we're better. But we have five guys we like. Our offense is the best in baseball as far as run production is concerned. Now, can we be better? Sure.
"Will we be open-minded? Sure. But I don't see that there's a driving force. And we are going to get some players back. We have nine guys still on the disabled list."
The Red Sox have some of the most sought-after prospects in the game, including Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi, which will likely compel other teams to dangle impact players in Dombrowski's direction.
How hard is the balancing act of trying to win now versus maintaining an elite farm system?
"I don't have a set answer for that question, because I don't think there is one. You've got to evaluate every situation that you possibly have and see what you think is best in your heart," Dombrowski said. "Of course, you make the ultimate decision, but there's a lot of people contributing to those decisions -- scouting, staff members, analytical people, player development. There's a lot of people you listen to.
"Just like the trade we made at the All-Star break [for Pomeranz], we got input from over 20 people for that decision. I think you just make the best decision that you feel proper for the time. I don't have a set answer for that. I think it's just a time-by-time basis."
Dombrowski also doesn't utilize the "untouchable" label.
"No, I've never really used that phrase," Dombrowski said. "Let's just say you have an All-Star player. He's a very good player. If somebody offers you four All-Star players for him, you're going to trade that guy most likely. But the reality is, what are you asking? In reality, you would listen, and I don't mean that on any particular player because some contribute much more than others. The reality is that's why I never use that label. I think you've got to be open-minded to listen to what's out there. I think that's very important."
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.