It is not wise to be reactionary in MLB when it comes to trades or free agent signings, but the Red Sox absolutely need to do something big in the next few weeks to ease the legit fears of their fan base. The 1-2 power punch of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton with the Yankees is foolproof. Translation: The Yankees are going to be great, and they are the clear-cut favorites to win the AL East after advancing to the ALCS this past fall.
Throwing gobs of money at JD Martinez would help – and it looks like the Red Sox might be willing to do that soon based on recent comments by Dave Dombrowski. Make no mistake about it, we have re-entered the era of the Yankees and Red Sox competing for the biggest names on both the MLB trade and free agent markets. Machado just happens to be the latest big name available. You’d better believe that the Yankees are still targeting Bryce Harper a year from now, which means the Red Sox need to start to keep pace. About the only thing the Red Sox could do at this juncture to make their fans feel great about their chances of winning another World Series is if they land Martinez AND pull off a blockbuster trade for a second big bat.
That second big bat could come in the form of Manny Machado, who the Orioles are now looking to trade this winter. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford tweeted out this week that a source told him the Orioles are “getting a ton of interest on Machado.” That’s not surprising considering that Machado is a potential MVP candidate who has had three straight seasons with over 30 home runs.
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But the list of teams that could realistically take on Machado as a one-year rental has to be relatively small. Only big market teams in “win-now” mode would look at not only taking on Machado’s salary, but also be willing to give up “two young, controllable starting pitchers” (which the O’s have reportedly asked for in return). The teams that best fit that profile are the Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants (the Yankees are on a no-trade list by the O’s for whatever reason).
The Cardinals may have already made their big move this winter, as they landed Marcell Ozuna from Miami in a trade on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox suddenly seem to be a good fit for Machado, as he reportedly wants to return to the shortstop position. The Sox are obviously no longer thrilled with Xander Bogaerts at short, and upgrading from Bogaerts’ 10 home runs and 60 RBIs per year to Machado’s 33 home runs and 95 RBIs per year at that key position would be right up the alley for what the Sox are looking to do this winter.
For the Sox - an offer of top pitching prospect Jason Groome, current starter Drew Pomeranz and Bogaerts (who is still just 25-years-old) would surely entice old friend Dan Duquette to possibly pull the trigger.
The Giants would likely have to give up their top pitching prospect in Tyler Beede as well as a young All-Star level talent like Joe Panik. This is all assuming the Giants think they can turn things around quickly. San Francisco is, after all, a team that went a league worst 64-98 last season.