Boston Red Sox

By Matt Dolloff,

The latest Red Sox trade rumor probably has less-than-zero chance of happening. But it illustrates how badly the team might have to overpay in order to improve the team.

Jon Morosi of the MLB Network tweeted on Tuesday that the Red Sox are interested in upgrading their bullpen, particularly Padres lefty Brad Hand. But the Padres’ asking price is reportedly … Rafael Devers.

Granted, Morosi’s tweet mainly describes the price as a “young everyday player” and merely uses Devers as an example. So it could be a way for the Padres to start high and negotiate down to something that would happen in this universe. Because Devers would be a questionable trade chip even for a Manny Machado rental, let alone a reliever who would be your set-up man and part-time closer.

It’s also worth noting that Hand, 28, has a 2.50 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 36 innings, and leads the National league with 21 saves so far. So he may be the very best relief pitcher available this trade deadline and he would represent the significant upgrade the Red Sox need to renovate the Kimbrel Bridge™.

But Devers isn’t going anywhere, for any reliever. Maybe you can’t rule anything out with Dave Dombrowski, who traded Anderson Espinoza (one of the most valuable pitching prospects in baseball at the time) for Drew Pomeranz in 2016. But this is just beyond laughable – hopefully, the Red Sox front office feels the same.

Dave Dombrowski (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Dave Dombrowski (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Would the Padres take Jackie Bradley Jr.? Would Blake Swihart count? Maybe a deal like that would be more doable. But if anything, Morosi’s report is an indication of what Dombrowski and the Red Sox are going to have to jettison in order to make the upgrade they seek in the bullpen.

The farm system is barren at this point, leaving only everyday major leaguers as viable trade pieces. It’s a position Dombrowski put them in, and not for nothing because he’s gotten plenty of legit major-league talent in return. But if he wants to land yet another established piece, it’s going to take some creativity – and possibly a hefty price.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at