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Red Sox fans, don't count on a Manny Machado deal

Rob Bradford
December 30, 2017 - 11:31 am

Who wouldn't want to have Manny Machado?

This is a 25-year-old who has played in 156 or more games and hit 33 or more homers in each of the past three seasons, finishing in the Top 5 of American League MVP voting in two of those seasons. And defensively, he can be slotted into third base or shortstop and immediately considered one of the best defensive players at either of those respective positions.

So when's Jon Morosi tweeted that the Red Sox were "showing continued trade interest in Manny Machado" Friday night, it was understandable that it got the attention of fans in these parts. While most still consider J.D. Martinez the logical solution to the Sox's power shortage, this would be perceived as an intriguing, outside-the-box alternative.

Don't hold your breath.

According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, it would be misrepresenting things to suggest the Red Sox are on the doorstep -- or pounding on the door -- when it came to their engagement with the Orioles regarding Machado.

The notion of Machado coming to Boston has always seemed like an awkward fit, and it has nothing to do with the 2017 feud between the infielder and the Sox' organization.

How it could conceivably work is if the Orioles decided to alter their course when it came to restocking via a Machado trade and accepted the likes of Xander Bogaerts instead of the one thing Baltimore currently craves, pitching. And if you're thinking that a package of Bogaerts AND pitching might be in play, please remember that, as good as Machado is, you are getting a player for one year.

And even if the Red Sox' found a deal on the table that suggested Bogaerts would be the centerpiece from their side of things, that's hardly a no-brainer. The current Red Sox shortstop is under the Sox' control for two more years, and -- without a bad hand -- remains one of the best offensive shortstops in the American League.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, Rafael Devers is not getting traded.)

As for other pieces that the Orioles might accept from the Red Sox, there doesn't seem to be a lot of options that would make sense to give up the soon-to-be free agent. Jason Groome. Tanner Houck and Bryan Mata are the three top pitchers in the Sox' organization, but none of them have pitched above Single-A. First off, that isn't the demographic the Orioles would be looking for, and with the impending possible turnover in the Sox' rotation, Dave Dombrowski can't be thinning out that position anymore.

It isn't out of the realm of possibility that Dan Duquette would deal within the American League East. That is, after all, how Eduardo Rodriguez arrived in town. But history suggests that, unless it's in the midst of trade deadline desperation, any kind of transaction usually costs a little bit more.

It's good to finally have some Hot Stove conversation. And maybe a Machado trade proposal is ultimately constructed in a manner we're not seeing, increasing the reality of a deal to levels they currently don't stand. But, right now, it's only talk, and will most likely remain that way.

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