But the Red Sox are legitimate contenders to land Machado this season in a trade. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tossed out why he thinks they might get into the mix in the event Machado hits the trade market. Rosenthal suggested something interesting. The Sox (and other teams like the Angels, Braves and Indians) might only be interested in Machado if they can move him to third base, where he won two Gold Gloves.
“Boston Red Sox. Yes, Boston. 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?”
Dombrowski has parted ways with countless younger players and prospects in trades to build a team that can win immediately. He did it with Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith. So he’d probably pull the trigger on Machado, too. That’s been his methodology since joining Boston (and even before when he was with the Tigers). And the move would upgrade the Sox at two of their weakest positions: third base and reliever.
The timing isn’t great with Devers, who had a productive start to his season in March and April with a .257/.310/.429 slash line before slumping through May and into June. This month, he’s hitting .214/.250/.357. The Sox aren’t selling high — but even though he’s slumping, Devers is an budding talent. The O’s surely know that.
If the Sox could get some sort of assurance that they’d be able to extend Machado (which would be complicated with their cap situation), then they come out as major winners. But the Sox have a number of players looking for big deals — Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts. Machado might mean the Sox have to part ways with some of their young core.
The other point of interest with Machado is whether he’d be a fit in the locker room. Last season, his slide into Dustin Pedroia led to Matt Barnes throwing at Machado. Hard feelings ensued not just between the Sox and the Orioles, but also between Sox players. Machado also cursed out the Sox in an expletive-filled rant.
Needless to say, he’d have to bury the hatchet.
And then there’s the question of whether the Orioles would make such a deal. They may not have much of a choice. With the team reeling this season, they may simply look for the best deal as they accept the fact that Machado is as good as gone.