A shock-wave spread across the MLB Hot Stove when Buster Olney reported that the Chicago Cubs could trade Kris Bryant.  The Red Sox minor league system is bare, but Rafael Devers is young, cheap, talented, and a powerful trade chip.  Would a Rafael Devers Kris Bryant swap make sense?

Rafael Devers

Devers can be seen as a Red Sox wunderkind.  He will only be 22 years old at the start of 2019 season.  At that tender age, his accomplishments are many.  Here are just a few:

  • His Baseball Reference page compares him at a similar age to Willie Mays and Cal Ripken Jr.
  • He’s the youngest Red Sox player to hit a Home Run since Tony Conigliaro in 1965.
  • He has a .884 OPS in the postseason including 3 Home Runs and 14 RBI in 15 games.

Because of these, and many other great performances, most consider him an untouchable.  And for the vast majority of all the talent in all the world, he is.

But what if he could be the centerpiece, or only piece, in a trade for one of the best young players in all of baseball?

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant himself is seen as a Chicago Cubs wunderkind.  At the tender age of 26, he has already been a Rookie Of The Year, an NL MVP, and linchpin of a 2016 World Series Championship for the Cubbies.

Devers may be full of potential, but Bryant is a monster and has proved it over a much larger sample.  Bryant is also playing much better defense than Devers at third base.

So why would the Cubs trade him?  Because many of the same concerns the Red Sox have had with Mookie Betts.  Bryant has refused to talk long-term extension with the Cubs.

Now, Theo Epstein, the President of the Cubs, downplayed the possibility of trading Bryant.  But what do we expect him to say?  If there is even a possibility, this could be an incredible opportunity.

In the spring of 2017, the Chicago Cubs visited Fenway Park for a 3 game series.  It was a brief glimpse of the kind of, pardon the term, damage Bryant could do.  In those 3 games, he hit 2 Home Runs, 2 Doubles, and had a 1.429 OPS.

Red Sox Payroll Concerns 2020

At the end of the 2019 season, the Red Sox have a number of payroll concerns.  Among them are trying to sign Mookie Betts to a long-term deal, Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts becoming free agents, and JD Martinez having an opt-out in his contract.

Having Kris Bryant, a superstar, on the team at a lower number through 2021, would provide some flexibility for the Sox in the short term.  And Bryant is a much better bet to invest in than Rafael Devers.  Bryant is simply a better player.

Because of Rafael Devers’ postseason success, and tantalizing thoughts of Willy Mays and a young and healthy Tony C, he could be a one for one trade chip for Kris Bryant.  And hey, it’s just the kind of trade Dave Dombrowski is known for.