By Matthew Kory and Jeffrey Paternostro
If you were casually watching the playoffs–had it on in the background while cooking dinner, fighting with your kids about homework, or waiting on hold with the Canadian embassy–you still probably picked out the most salient takeaway: relievers are important. The newish, more gutsy Red Sox front office, led by Dave Dombrowski and, four empty rungs down, probably some other people, noticed this too. We know because Dombrowski doesn’t do deceit, but we also know because he just traded for Thornburg.
Thornburg is the eighth-inning piece the Red Sox thought they had traded for last season when they got right-hander Carson Smith from the Mariners. Then Smith needed Tommy Johnsurgery and the Red Sox were right back where they were before the deal. They pieced things together last season, but when the offseason began Dombrowski stated the team needed to get an eighth-inning reliever. Remember I said Dombrowski doesn’t do deceit? This is that reliever.
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