The rumors of a possible Mookie Betts commerce simply gained’t give up, with the most recent whispers — shouts in some areas of the nation — specializing in the Dodgers being the almost definitely vacation spot for the 2018 AL MVP, ought to the Pink Sox really commerce their famous person.
Let’s take a second to take a look at among the elements concerned, and what it could imply for each the Pink Sox and Dodgers if the deal really occurs.
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Why the Pink Sox would commerce Betts
By any definition of the phrase, Betts is a famous person. He’s an unimaginable participant on the sphere, and the kind of particular person any baseball franchise could be proud to have representing the staff. However Betts is ready to change into a free agent after the 2020 season, and the Pink Sox have, apparently, no intention of signing him to a long-term deal. And since the Sox see their probabilities of contending for a title in 2020 as favorable, apparently, they’d relatively deal Betts now than get the compensation decide they’d get in the event that they look forward to him to depart as a free agent. Additionally, getting underneath the luxurious tax for 2020 has reportedly been a precedence for the Sox, and jettisoning Betts’ $27 million wage this yr would assist them accomplish that objective.
Additionally, if buying and selling Betts would assist them transfer extra wage — particularly together with David Worth, who’s owed $96 million over the following three years, in any deal — that’s much more motivation to commerce Betts. To be clear, no staff would pay the whole lot of Worth’s deal, but when shedding cash is the first Boston objective, getting one other staff to take half of that whole value could be a win.
How Betts suits with the Dodgers
Think about placing Mookie Betts subsequent to Cody Bellinger within the Dodgers’ outfield, with Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, A.J. Pollock and Chris Taylor within the combine for the left discipline spot. Nicely, these 4 gamers probably within the combine (extra on that in a second). However a Bellinger-Betts combo could be a pair no different staff in baseball may match, on the plate or with the glove — each gained Gold Gloves in 2019 (Bellinger’s first, Betts’ fourth).
And Betts would go a good distance towards solidifying Los Angeles’ revolving door within the leadoff spot. For all their success the previous three years, the Dodgers haven’t had a lot consistency atop the lineup — eight totally different gamers have began a minimum of 16 video games within the leadoff spot from 2017 to 2019. Pederson has been the most typical leadoff hitter the previous two years, however he has only a .327 on-base proportion in 166 video games batting first. Betts has a profession .373 on-base proportion within the leadoff spot.
What it could price the Dodgers
The nice query about any Betts deal has all the time revolved round what sort of return the Pink Sox may command. As a result of, on one hand, Betts is among the 5 finest gamers in baseball, and evidently sort of participant would deliver again a whopping prospect package deal. However then, there’s this: The staff that will commerce for Betts is barely getting one yr of service, and it’s not going the Pink Sox wish to pay a lot (or any) of the $27 million he’s owed this yr. That’s not an insignificant quantity.
However for this reason the Dodgers make a lot sense as a commerce companion. They’ve loads of payroll flexibility, and will take up the $27 million with none downside, they usually have a deep secure of elite prospects from which to deal. Baseball America simply launched its annual rating of the High 100 prospects in baseball, and no staff has extra gamers on the listing than the Dodgers’ seven. And that doesn’t embody Alex Verdugo, the extremely regarded teenager who hit .294 with a three.1 bWAR and .817 OPS as a rookie final yr. Verdugo is the title that has been most frequently related to a possible Betts deal, although these whispers don’t imply a lot.
Why it’s price it for LA
It’s been a tough handful of months for the Dodgers. First, there was the crushing finish to the 2019 season, once they squandered a Recreation 5 lead within the NLCS and misplaced to the Nationals, who went on to win the World Collection. And the groups that beat them within the 2017 and 2018 World Collection — the Astros and Pink Sox — have each been accused of stealing indicators throughout the season they beat the Dodgers. The Astros have been hammered by MLB for his or her dishonest, and the Pink Sox investigation is ongoing. Oh, they usually’ve watched the perfect free brokers within the sport select different groups, time and again: Gerrit Cole picked the Yankees, Anthony Rendon picked the Angels and Stephen Strasburg went again to the Nationals.
However except for all that, there’s this: The Dodgers have been the NL’s finest staff the previous three years, however they nonetheless haven’t gained a World Collection since 1988. Even with out Betts, they’ve the staff to get again to that stage, and including Betts would assist transfer them even nearer to reaching their final remaining objective.
How it could impression the Pink Sox
The white flag would unofficially be raised on the 2020 season. The Sox gained’t be worse than the Orioles, after all, however they’d be proper there with the Blue Jays, wanting up on the Rays and Yankees within the AL East. A miracle playoff run may occur, nevertheless it’s not going.