By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — You can never accuse of San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller of failing to dream big.
With his team in the basement of the NL West, six games under .500 at 34-40, Preller is likely looking to trade his closer, Brad Hand. It may not be a priority, per se, because Hand is signed through 2020 with a club option for 2021, all at a very reasonable price. So if the Padres do move the left-hander who leads the NL with 21 saves, they’re going to want a lot in return.
And though the Red Sox may need a reliable arm in the bullpen, they’re unlikely to even entertain the offer that the Padres want.
According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Padres want “a young everyday player, such as Rafael Devers” in exchange for the reliever.
That price would be … steep.
The 21-year-old Devers is having a rough year in terms of batting average (.240), OBP (.289) and OPS (.707), but his power numbers — 11 homers, 14 doubles, 35 RBIs — are solid for a young player in his first full big league season. Coming off 10 homers and 14 doubles in 58 big league games last year, Devers batted .364 with two home runs and five RBIs in the Red Sox’ four postseason games against Houston.
And given his lack of service time, Devers won’t become a free agent until 2024. Trading him for a reliever — albeit a reliever with multiple seasons remaining on his deal — would be the short-sighted move to end all short-sighted moves.
Hand, 28, has a 2.25 ERA and a 0.972 WHIP to go with 53 strikeouts and 14 walks in 36 innings this year. Since 2016, he has a 2.51 ERA with a 1.016 WHIP and 43 saves.
It’s a pretty bold potential request from Peller, though, considering he had to serve a 30-day suspension after failing to disclose medical information to the Red Sox before completing the Drew Pomeranz trade back in 2016.