8:05pm: A third team could be involved in talks, tweets Rosenthal, though the basic framework of the deal being discussed still includes Price and Betts going to L.A. and Verdugo going to Boston.
8:03pm: The current proposal would send both Betts and Price to Los Angeles, tweets Speier. The two sides are reviewing medicals on all of the potentially involved players. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that young outfielder Alex Verdugo would be the centerpiece going to Boston, as has been previously rumored.
7:58pm: Trade talks centering around Red Sox star right fielder Mookie Betts have once again heated up, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network, who calls the Dodgers the favorite to land him. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier adds that Boston and Los Angeles are in “advanced” talks and that it’s possible a deal will come together tonight. The Padres aren’t completely out of the mix just yet, per Heyman.
The Betts trade saga has dominated headlines for the past week, with the Red Sox soliciting offers on the 2018 AL MVP from both the Dodgers and Padres. Both teams have obvious motivations to add Betts to the fold, but the Dodgers are already a clear postseason contender with deeper pockets and a generally strong mix of MLB-ready talent and high-end prospects. Previous reports have indicated that the Red Sox are hoping to attach part of David Price’s contract in a deal with the Dodgers, though it’s not clear whether the current permutations of talks include the former Cy Young winner, who is owed $96MM over the next three years.
Betts, 27, agreed to a record-setting $27MM salary in his final trip through the arbitration process earlier this winter. He’s been outspoken and candid about his desire to test free agency rather than sign an extension, so he has to be viewed purely as a one-year rental for any club that acquires him. By trading him, the Red Sox would drop their projected luxury tax commitments to about $212MM — just $4MM over the $208MM threshold. If they’re successfully able to unload a portion of Price’s deal, new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom will have successfully dipped below the luxury tax line. That’s been a clear goal for Boston ownership all winter, despite chairman John Henry’s dubious claims that the team is more focused on competitiveness than on resetting their luxury penalty level.