The trade rumblings surrounding Mookie Betts are presumably nearing their peak. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reported last night that resolution on trade talks regarding him could come within the next few days. Ken Rosenthal offered a similar sentiment on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show this morning (Twitter link, with video), plainly stating that a Betts trade “is going to happen.”
At this point, the race to acquire Betts is widely reported to be between a pair of NL West rivals: the Dodgers and the Padres. The former, of course, is a perennial division champ hoping that Betts could be the piece to finally push them across the finish line in the World Series after two near-misses in three years. The latter would simply hope Betts could propel them into postseason play at all. San Diego has yet to experience a playoff game under general manager A.J. Preller, who was hired more than five years ago.
As with most high-profile trade scenarios, there are multiple layers to consider. Both the Padres and Dodgers have excellent farm systems and controllable, MLB-ready talent to pitch to new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and his staff. Betts would push the Padres into franchise-record payroll territory but wouldn’t bring them to the luxury tax threshold. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have spent far more than this before but would be in luxury territory with Betts on board.
The financial components don’t stop there. San Diego has reportedly sought to unload part of Wil Myers’ contract (three years, $61MM remaining) on the Red Sox in their talks. Boston has been trying to push some of David Price’s remaining deal (three years, $96MM) on both clubs; USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets this morning that the Dodgers are still trying to get the Sox to take on a larger portion of Price’s contract.
The emergence of an unexpected suitor — who doesn’t love a good mystery team?! — would make things more interesting and remains possible as long as Betts is still under Red Sox control.
It’s only been 10 days since MLBTR readers weighed in on whether a Betts trade would happen at all, with nearly 69 percent of participants voting that the 2018 AL MVP would open the 2020 season in Boston. Just over a week later, there’s a decidedly different feel around the Betts situation, so let’s open this up one final time (link to poll for Trade Rumors mobile app users)…