We’ve officially entered full tilt offseason delirium. That’s the only plausible explanation I can offer to the latest Hot Stove kindling, as MLBtraderumors.com reported last night that Boston was still hot on the tracks of Manny Machado.
This flame needs to be extinguished.
Machado to the BoSox would create a quandary of infield questions. If he were acquired, would he play third, supplanting Boston’s youngest power threat? Where would that leave Devers, to platoon first base? It seems unwise to move a second year player off his spot, in turn forcing him to be taught a new defensive position, in addition to learning how to make adjustments to major league pitching. Or how about this: Devers holds down the hot corner, while Boston decides to move Machado to shortstop… where he’s spent a total of 15% of his career; 49 starts in 764 games. That would indicate that the Sox have included two time All-Star (before turning 25) Xander Bogaerts in the deal, a young, cost effective .283 hitter, as opposed to Manny who sits at .279.
In what league is a one year rental, which Machado is, worth giving up an All-Star Xander, alongside whatever young pitching Dan Duquette would try to pluck from the farms? President of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski has taken his share of criticism for dealing off big name prospects, which is exactly what the bulking Baltimore slugger would require. And while the system isn’t nearly as depleted as it may appear, the absence of one or two top prospects could result in the Sox displaying one of the worst five farms in the MLB. It’s nonsensical to give away high end minor league talent for one year of one man, who plays positions where Boston has 21 and 25 year olds entrenched for short money and a high ceiling.
While a full season of Baltimore’s top run producer would no doubt heal the lineup wounds, it’s the long term view that paints less attractive scenarios. Scenarios that include Jay Groome whiffing Boston bats for the next ten years as an Oriole, Bogaerts turning into a top 3 positional player, or Machado walking to New York after a one year Boston stint, sans a World Series ring. The mere likelihood that these outcomes are even remotely plausible should lend enough reasoning to see the unattractiveness of a Manny to Boston trade. And if it’s not, let’s not give the Oriole a free pass here. This is the same Machado that was quoted:
“I’ve lost my respect for that organization, for that coaching staff, for everyone over there.”
Between the cost of the asset, the duration of his potential stay, and the organizational differences… it doesn’t seem like much of a fit. And it’s time for this rumor to be looked at for what it is- a defunct headline grabber in the midst of a desolate offseason.