Red Sox: Manny Machado is still an option

BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 3, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 3: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after striking out during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 3, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

If the Boston Red Sox are serious about winning the World Series, they will make an offer for Manny Machado

Last night, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported the Yankees and Rays have been kicking around the idea of a three team deal involving Manny Machado. Rosenthal’s reported trade idea looked like this:

  • The Yankees send mid-level prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jake Odorizzi
  • The Yankees then send Odorizzi, 3B prospect Miguel Andujar, and Jacoby Ellsbury with 50% retained salary to the Orioles
  • The Orioles send Manny Machado to the Yankees

The proposal seems a bit far fetched, but it’s hard to deny that the deal would benefit every team. The Rays would be able to grab from New York’s loaded farm system, thus aiding their rebuild. The Orioles would get a top prospect, a controllable pitcher, and a veteran outfielder at a reduced cost.

Meanwhile, the Yankees would get Machado, keep their top prospects, and stay under the tax threshold. It is likely the Orioles would ask for more in such a scenario, and same with the Rays, but neither would get an offer too much better than this.

If the Red Sox let Machado go to New York, 2018 will become a throw away year. They have been sitting in the back seat all off-season, it’s time for them to be proactive. A trade for Machado would put the Red Sox back in the drivers seat, and immediately re-establish them as World Series contenders.

My Proposed Offer

The Red Sox will have to overpay for Manny Machado for the Orioles to send him to their division rival. However, the Orioles seek Major League assets, and the Red Sox have plenty to offer:

To be clear, this proposal is nothing more than my own speculation, but I believe any trade for Machado would be structured like this one. The Orioles may ask for better prospects, but Eduardo Rodriguez is under control through 2021 with high upside.

The offer presents more risk to the Red Sox, who would be selling low on Bogaerts, and would risk losing Machado in 2019. Shedding half of Castillo’s salary would help them make sure that doesn’t happen. An alternative to trading Rodriguez would be to include Michael Chavis and Bryan Mata instead of Dalbec and Raudes. The Red Sox could throw in Brian Johnson, who is Major League ready, but with a low ceiling.

Meanwhile, the Orioles believe they can be competitive this year, and trading for Xander Bogaerts would allow them to do so while building for the future. Bogaerts will be a free agent in 2020, but the Orioles would have a much better chance of keeping Bogaerts than they do Machado. Taking on 50% of Castillo’s salary balances the trade for Boston, but Castillo could still offer the Orioles some OF depth.

The New Lineup

The Red Sox are still the clear favorites to sign J.D. Martinez, and after trading for Machado, he would feel much more inclined to sign. Signing Martinez would make it much less likely the Red Sox retain Manny Machado, Chris Sale, and Mookie Betts long term. They would have to choose 2 of the 3. That being said, the Red Sox have enough financial flexibility in 2018 for their lineup to look something like this:

RF Mookie Betts, R
LF Andrew Benintendi, L
SS Manny Machado, R
DH J.D. Martinez, R
3B Rafael Devers, L
1B Hanley Ramirez, R
2B Dustin Pedoria, R
CF Jackie Bradley Jr., L
C Christian Vasquez, R

The Verdict

This lineup scenario is probably the only way the Red Sox will be Opening Day, AL East favorites. However, it’s still unlikely they land both Machado, and Martinez. The Orioles would be less willing to trade Machado to a division rival, but their two best suitors are both in the AL East. They might need a reality check before they end up trading Machado away on a deadline bargain. It would be smart for both the Orioles and the Red Sox to exchange ideas for the duration of Spring Training.

Next: Red Sox in discussions with LHP Tony Watson

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