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So Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Red Sox are one of four teams that might make a blockbuster offer at the trade deadline for Manny Machado. The deal would include Rafael Devers. I’m not sure how to feel about this. Devers is struggling, but he’s so young, and we got a look at what he could be when he came up last year and really helped. Machado is a rental, but one of the best players in baseball. What do you think? Should they do this? – Matt C.
Well, it certainly sounds like something Dave Dombrowski would at least ponder doing, doesn’t it?
Trading a big-time prospect in Devers who is struggling for a contending team, along with presumably with other remnants of a once-fruitful farm system, for one of the best players in baseball in his contract year? Yeah, that move is in DD’s wheelhouse.
It’s beyond intriguing – Machado, still just 25, has .950 OPS and 18 homers for the wretched Orioles. The Red Sox, as Rosenthal points out in the piece, are 28th in OPS at third base among all MLB teams. The improvement would be enormous.
Devers, so great at the plate last year after his recall, is struggling. It’s not especially alarming – it happens to almost every young player, even those of considerable talent – but the reality is he doesn’t look like a contributor to a team with championship aspirations right now (he has 10 homers, but just a .689 OPS).
To actually answer the question, though … no, they should not do it. Parting with Devers is too much to give up for something around a half-season of Machado, who is headed to free agency. The Red Sox farm system has little to offer right now — Devers and Andrew Benintendi are really their only cost-controlled young players for the next couple of years.
Perhaps the Red Sox believe there would be a chance to keep Machado, with some bad contracts coming off the books. Perhaps they would ponder trading Xander Bogaerts to retain Machado at shortstop. Perhaps they think Machado would be the difference between winning the AL East and playing in the wild card, or the difference between winning a playoff round or winning World Series. But there are too many what-ifs and maybes here. Devers is too much to give up for a rental.
Besides, this ruins my daydream of picking up Adrian Beltre at the deadline from the Rangers for cheap.
But what do you guys think? Should the Red Sox part with Rafael Devers in a trade for Manny Machado? I’ll hear you in the comments.