Last week The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal floated a rumor that the Red Sox may be looking at acquiring Baltimore’s Manny Machado ahead of the July 31 MLB trade deadline.
“The Red Sox rank 28th in OPS at third base, and a trade for Machado would be a vintage Dave Dombrowski stunner,” Rosenthal wrote. “Would the Sox give up say, five-plus years of third baseman Rafael Devers if the Orioles also included one of their potential free agent relievers, Zach Britton or Brad Brach, and maybe a prospect?”
This led to several days of “would you or wouldn’t you?” on Boston sports radio as it pertains to parting with a young talent like Devers in exchange for Machado, who would most likely only be a three-month rental. Machado wants to get paid in a big way this winter, and the Red Sox already have the highest team payroll in baseball so this likely would not be a longterm deal.
That said, Machado could absolutely put a World Series contender like the Red Sox over the top. Machado is fifth in MLB in home runs with 18, is second to JD Martinez in MLB RBIs with 55, and has a .377 OBP – good for 10 in all of baseball.
The Red Sox have had great success at the plate so far this season compared to last as they are currently second in MLB in runs scored and are second in total home runs. But given that the Sox will see power hitting clubs like the Yankees (first in home runs), Indians (third in home runs) and Astros (sixth in home runs) in the postseason – it’s not a bad idea to load up on as many talented big bats as possible.
Devers has had his struggles this year at the dish despite a recent 10-game hit streak. The 21-year-old third baseman is hitting just .239 this season with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs.
One other option for Dombrowski and the Red Sox would be to look at trading Xander Bogaerts instead of Devers. Bogaerts was mentioned as the primary trade piece when “Machado to the Red Sox” rumors first hit this past winter and at the time Bogaerts’ stock around baseball was painfully low. To his credit, Bogaerts has built his offense back up to the point where he hit out of the three hole the other night.
When the Bogaerts rumors were hot, the Orioles were said to only be interested in “two young, controllable starting pitchers” in return. The Sox’ farm system is currently ranked No. 27 in MLB by Bleacher Report, so the Sox would not exactly be talking from a position of power when it comes to trade talks with embattled O’s GM Dan Duquette. Duquette is almost surely going to be fired this year anyway (Orioles owners reportedly met with former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti recently), so he may now be open to deal with the franchise that let him go 16 years ago in the Red Sox.