Have you ever just went all in? Are you that guy that pushes your chips to the center of the table on one hand of blackjack? Were you ever that guy that just did something spontaneous for the thrill of the moment? If you haven’t, welcome to Dave Dombrowski’s entire existence. Dombrowski is the president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox and he has done nothing but pushed his chips to the center of the table. The Red Sox need a closer? No problem, he pushed the chips in the center of the table to do whatever it took to land Craig Kimbrell. The Red Sox need an ace? No problem, he went all in on David Price and forked over $217 million to land him. The Red Sox need ANOTHER ace? No problem, Davey big shot did it again doing whatever it took to land Chris Sale.
Not all of Dombrowski’s moves have paid off. He gave away Travis Shaw for no reason. He also gave up a premium prospect for Drew Pomeranz who stinks and can’t even pitch 5 innings. However, you can never critique Dombrowksi for being passive. The 2018 Boston Red Sox are arguably the best team in baseball. They are a perfect mix of young guys drafted/signed by the old Boston regime (Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and Eduardo Rodriguez) and high risk-win now moves set in place by Dombrowski (JD Martinez, Chris Sale, David Price, and Craig Kimbrell. After two straight division titles and two straight first-round exits, the time to win a title is right now. It’s time for Davey to push those chips in the center of the table one last time to land the biggest fish on the trade market, Manny Machado.
Yes, we all know the story that Machado is a free agent at season’s end. Machado is going to get paid a boatload of cash following the season. Probably in the area $300 million. That has deterred teams from trading for a player who they know is a pure rental. Then again, maybe that’s the biggest advantage to acquiring Machado. It’s not very often that a player of Machado’s caliber goes on the market for a discounted cost. For a team like the Red Sox that doesn’t have virtually any prospects of value to deal, targeting Machado for a lesser cost makes sense.
The Red Sox haven’t gotten virtually any production from the third base spot despite having the most wins in baseball. Boston ranks 28th in the majors in OPS from their third baseman. That’s because young stud Rafael Devers has zero plate discipline. Devers, 20, realistically isn’t polished enough to contribute at the major league level after getting rushed to the majors a year ago. He also flat out stinks defensively. Devers may wind up being an all-world third baseman in two or three years. However, the concerns with him swinging wildly after pitches outside of the zone may never go away. He may also outgrow the position and is already an oversized third baseman at 20. Giving up 5 years of Devers as a package to land a half year of an all-world third baseman is worth the cost of acquisition if you ask me. Especially if you can get the Orioles to throw a reliever in the deal for postseason time.
Yes, I mentioned Machado as a third baseman, deal with it. If the Red Sox trade for him, he doesn’t have a choice but to play third base. What’s he going to do refuse to play? Xander Bogaerts is the shortstop and he’s here to stay. Machado is a gold glove third baseman and automatically improves that area. He is also in the middle of his prime and is flat out raking with the bat. Machado is batting a career-high .307 and has more home runs than the team has wins. Machado has 18 homers compared to 17 wins for the Orioles. Baltimore has no choice but to deal him.
Even esteemed baseball reporter, Ken Rosenthal, of The Athletic admits this is a possibility:
“Teams that might want Machado at third right now” include the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and the Red Sox. “Yes, Boston,” Rosenthal writes. “The Red Sox rank 28th in OPS at third base, and a trade for Machado would be a vintage Dave Dombrowski stunner. 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?”
Manny Machado has been linked to the Yankees quite a bit before the start of this season. His idol growing up was Alex Rodriguez. However, things have changed. Brian Cashman is unlikely willing to give up either Didi Gregorius or Miguel Andujar for a half a season of Machado. The Orioles infielder will also be coveted by the Cubs, Dodgers, and Braves as well. If those teams can’t produce a talent that matches Devers 5-years of future control, then the Red Sox are the best bet to deal with.
Adding in a Brad Brach or Zach Britton to the deal to improve the Sox pen all of the sudden makes this team really deadly. Both Brach and Britton are impending free agents as well so they probably won’t command a huge price tag to trade for either. Adding a young Jason Groome and or Michael Chavis who are the top prospects in the Red Sox system really makes this trade tough to pass up for Machado. Boston needs to figure out a way to land Machado. Just take a look at how deadly this lineup would be come playoff time!
1. Mookie Betts (Right)
2. Andrew Benintendi (Left)
3. Manny Machado (Third)
4. JD Martinez (DH)
5. Dustin Pedroia (Second)
6. Xander Bogaerts (Short)
7. Mitch Moreland (First)
8. Christian Vazquez (Catcher)
9. Jackie Bradley (Center)
Dave Dombrowski signed JD Martinez to be the replacement for David Ortiz. He’s done a hell of a job thus far leading the majors in home runs (22). BUT…Imagine how scary that lineup becomes with Manny Machado right next to him. Want to talk about the Yankees lineup, their lineup doesn’t compare to what could be in Boston. Manny Machado is the missing link to the Boston Red Sox eventual World Series crown. Push those chips to the center, Dave. It’s time.