It’s probably safe to buy that Rafael Devers jersey.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski on Wednesday threw cold water on the trade speculation surrounding Devers, giving the 21-year-old a vote of confidence despite his up-and-down sophomore season with Boston.
?We love him,? Dombrowski told the Boston Herald. ?We?re not looking for a third baseman. We like him. He?s our third baseman.?
There’s been nothing to suggest the Red Sox intend to trade Devers, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wondered in a recent piece whether Boston would consider including the young slugger in a deal for Orioles superstar Manny Machado and one of Baltimore’s coveted relievers, either Zach Britton or Brad Brach.
Jon Morosi then floated Devers as the Padres’ possible asking price should San Diego consider trading closer Brad Hand to Boston.
This was enough to get Devers’ attention, although he downplayed the chatter in an interview with MassLive.com. Just don’t bank on the Red Sox actually trading Devers, who has tremendous upside and is under team control through 2023.
?I don?t know where people get rumors. Rumors are just that,” Dombrowski told the Herald. “But we like Rafael Devers and feel that he?s going to be our third baseman for a lot of years.?
One reason Devers has been mentioned in rumors is that the Red Sox’s farm system lacks high-end talent after several previous deals, including trades for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel. Dombrowski still believes he has a solid prospect pool from which to trade, however, should the right deal come along.
“We have a good club, so when we talk about going out and making big additions and all that, we have a good team as we are,? Dombrowski said, per the Boston Herald. ?So I don?t want to say we?re looking to make big additions. Now, will you look to get better? You always look to do that. I also think that when clubs talk to us I have no question that if we want to make a move, we have the type of players that can help us do that.?
In other words, expect the Red Sox to consider a whole bunch of options, except for maybe trading Devers, who’s viewed as a franchise cornerstone rather than a trade candidate.