Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently speculated about a “vintage Dave Dombrowski stunner”: acquiring Manny Machado, a pending free agent, for Rafael Devers who is under team control through 2023.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi then tweeted Tuesday about Devers being the likely asking price in a trade for Padres reliever Brad Hand:
#RedSox interested in upgrading bullpen, but in order to acquire San Diego LHP Brad Hand, source says the #Padres’ likely asking price would be a young everyday player, such as Rafael Devers. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 19, 2018
Yes, Devers has seen his name floated out there in rumors.
“Obviously with social media, it’s on there. It’s in your face,” Devers told MassLive.com through translator Daveson Perez on Tuesday at Target Field. “But I don’t think about it at all. At the end of the day, they’re my employer. They can do whatever they want with me. It’s not my job to worry about where I’ll be. It’s their job. So I’m just going to keep doing my job and playing baseball.”
Devers went 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs in the Red Sox’s 6-2 loss to the Twins in the three-game series opener.
Devers has batted .327 with a .340 on-base percentage, .577 slugging percentage, .917 OPS, three homers, four doubles, eight RBIs and seven runs his past 13 games (53 plate appearances) dating back to June 6.
“I don’t pay attention to that at all,” Devers added about the trade rumors. “I just come here every single day ready to play baseball to the best of my ability. And if I’m in the lineup, I’m going to make sure to give 100 percent. And that’s not my problem. That’s their problem to discuss those kinds of things. It’s my problem to play baseball.”
What has led to Devers’ recent offensive surge? He closed his batting stance.
“It’s been helping me out a lot because with this new stance I’m able to see the outside pitches better as well as the inside ones,” Devers said.
Devers said last year the open stance made him more equipped to handle left-handed pitching. But he has struggled against lefties this year.
“I think I will be able to hit against lefties because I can see the breaking balls better with the closed stance, and I’m able to make more contact,” Devers said.
As you’ve probably heard by now, J.D. Martinez did help him.
“I just went to him one day and I was telling him I feel more comfortable with the closed stance,” Devers said. “And then he just suggested that I use a ball to keep my legs from rotating as much as (they were).”
Devers and Martinez continue to work together.
“At the end of the day, you have to make your own adjustments at the plate,” Devers said. “But he definitely has been helping me a lot. We sit down together and we watch the video. And we talk about what I’m doing wrong and how I can fix it, the adjustments I can make to fix it. So that’s been a huge help for me.”
Mitch Moreland also has mentored Devers this year. Devers, whose English has improved quite a bit since last season, speaks with Moreland in the dugout during games.
“(Pitchers) attack us the same way,” Devers said. “They throw the same kind of pitches. So I usually talk to him and say, ‘Hey, what are you looking for here with this pitcher?’ And that’s basically what we talk about.”