5:54PM: “All signs point to a two-team race” between the Dodgers and Padres for Betts, the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier writes, and “Major League sources believe that it’s likelier than not that Betts gets traded, potentially in the very near future.” Price might yet be involved in a potential Dodgers deal, though adding Price alongside Betts “might compromise the prospect return for the Sox,” since Los Angeles doesn’t want to absorb much of Price’s contract. On the Padres’ side, they “seem open on just about any other outfielder” than Tommy Pham or Trent Grisham in trade talks. The Diamondbacks were another team linked to Betts in trade rumors, though Speier hears from a source that there was “no real traction” between Boston and Arizona even before the D’Backs acquired Starling Marte, so Arizona seems to be out of the Betts hunt.
7:30AM: With camp fast approaching, teams weighing major trades are surely beginning to feel the pressure. The Dodgers are keeping their cool as they continue to pursue Red Sox star Mookie Betts, Andy McCullough of The Athletic writes (subscription link). But they’re also possibly nearing a decision.
Talks between the coastal giants could well be reaching an inflection point, it seems. McCullough writes that the teams have “approached a resolution” in their talks “in recent days.”
Details of the packages under consideration are limited; as McCullough notes, it’s possible to imagine rather a wide variety of permutations. But the talks — at least, in some variations — do involve high-priced Boston hurler David Price. (Shades of another major trade between these teams?)
As we discussed recently in a poll on the subject, there’s no shortage of pressure on the team to make strides. And the goal is obviously to find a major new performer. But the team also has reason to remain comfortable with its existing talent. No surprise, then, that McCullough indicates the organization isn’t really interested in stretching too far to make a deal.
It’s worth noting, too, that holding back assets for mid-season trades represents a viable alternative strategy. Betts himself could be available then, if he’s not poached first by another club (such as the division-rival Padres). The Dodgers can’t assume they’ll coast to another title, particularly now that the Diamondbacks have compiled such an interesting roster, but there’s some conceptual merit to waiting for mid-season roster holes to open before acting.
Speaking of that aforementioned poll … the results were interesting. Respondents were fairly evenly split as to whether the Dodgers would pull off a blockbuster. Among those that foresee a deal, about half think Betts will indeed land to L.A.