San Diego Padres – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-02-20T14:02:28Z WordPress Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[MLBTR Video: The MLBPA & The Astros Scandal; Red Sox Still Discussing Wil Myers]]> 2020-02-19T15:53:21Z 2020-02-19T15:53:21Z What is the role of the Players’ Union in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal? Why are the Padres and Red Sox still discussing Wil Myers? MLBTR’s Jeff Todd has you covered in today’s video:

For further reading, be sure to check out Jeff’s article, How MLB & The Astros Dug Their Own Hole.

Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Red Sox, Padres Reportedly Still Negotiating Wil Myers Swap]]> 2020-02-19T14:27:35Z 2020-02-19T14:27:37Z FEBRUARY 19: The Pads are indeed interested in both Lindor and Senzel, Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports (subscription link). It’s even possible that the Myers talks with the Red Sox could morph into a three-team arrangement involving the Reds, Lin adds.

FEBRUARY 18: Spring Training is now upon us. Prior talks failed to result in a deal. And yet the Red Sox are still holding talks with the Padres about a potential deal that would send first baseman/outfielder Wil Myers to Boston, according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Details are about as firm as you could ever hope to see them in a rumor of a potential swap. As before, the Friars want the Sox to take over about half of Myers’s salary (total guarantee of $61MM) over the next three years. Young talent would go to Boston to sweeten the pot. Players that have been discussed include Cal Quantrill, Luis Campusano, and Gabriel Arias, though it’s not clear which would be included and the Sox wouldn’t be able to obtain all of them just to take on half of what’s owed Myers.

That leaves out one major component of the as-yet-uncompleted trade talks: what would come back from the Red Sox? The original chatter between these teams involved Mookie Betts, who is no longer in the Boston stable. There’s no real indication just yet as to what current Red Sox might pique the interest of Padres GM A.J. Preller.

Yet more intriguing? The real goal, per Acee, is to swing a blockbuster for a high-level talent. He notes Nick Senzel of the Reds and Francisco Lindor of the Indians as longstanding targets, but it’s not really clear whether either is realistically available at this point. There aren’t many other conceivable candidates to be acquired who’d meet the description of a “difference-making” performer.

It’s fair to hold some skepticism here, especially as to the possible second prong of this scenario. Then again, Preller once pulled off a trade for Craig Kimbrel just before the start of a season, so it’s tough to rule out any mid-spring fireworks.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[This Date In Transactions History: Hoz To Pads]]> 2020-02-19T07:04:41Z 2020-02-19T07:02:56Z Two years ago today, a struggling San Diego club doled out what was then the largest contract in franchise history. The Padres added free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer on an eight-year, $144MM deal, no doubt hoping he’d help legitimize a team that was then stuck in an 11-year playoff drought. That skid has continued since the Padres picked up Hosmer, however.

The Royals made Hosmer the third overall pick in 2008, and he remained among the game’s most prized prospects during his time in their farm system. Hosmer further upped his stock with a quality rookie season in the majors in 2011, the beginning of an up-and-down career. He wound up turning in two sub-replacement-level seasons as a Royal, yet the highs were high when they came. Hosmer took home four Gold Gloves in KC, earned an All-Star nod in 2016 and was an important part of the franchise’s first World Series-winning season (2015) since 1985.

The Royals’ descent in the standings began in 2016, the year after their title-winning campaign, as Hosmer was again closer to replacement level than truly valuable. But Hosmer rebounded in a big way the next season, batting a personal-best .318/.385/.498 with career highs in home runs (25) and fWAR (4.0). Thanks in part to his production that year and his well-regarded clubhouse presence, the Royals – despite being at the start of a rebuild – wanted to keep Hosmer when he became a free agent. In the end, though, they couldn’t keep him from heading to San Diego, which hauled in Hosmer after he remained on the open market for much longer than expected.

At least during the initial stages of his contract, the Padres were banking on 2017-esque production from Hosmer. Unfortunately for them, Hosmer has been more Hyde than Jekyll in their uniform. He accounted for negative fWARs in each of his first two seasons as a Padre, totaling minus-0.5 over a team-leading 1,344 trips to the plate. His .259/.316/.412 line as a Padre has been 7 percent worse than the league-average offensive output, according to wRC+.

Based on his numbers as a Padre, it’s fair to say the Hosmer signing has been regrettable for the Padres. And it has caused other complications, including with Wil Myers. While Myers was the Padres’ first baseman when they signed Hosmer, he then had to shift to the outfield and hasn’t offered much production since. Consequently, Myers has been the subject of trade rumors for multiple years, including at this very moment. He’s a poor fit on a team that’s committed to Hosmer for the foreseeable future, and general manager A.J. Preller has worked to get rid of Myers as a result.

The fact that the Padres also have quite a bit of payroll tied up in Hosmer only adds to their problems. Their combined $444MM guarantees to Hosmer and third baseman Manny Machado – whose $300MM pact trumps Hosmer’s – might say otherwise, but they’ve never ranked among the freest spenders in the game (though they are on track for a franchise-high payroll in 2020). Every dollar counts in the Padres’ situation, so squandering nine figures on a player who has had so much trouble producing in their uniform could have negative ramifications for years.

Although they can’t be pleased with what Hosmer has given them thus far, he’s unlikely to go anywhere. Agent Scott Boras included full no-trade rights in the first three seasons of Hosmer’s deal when he negotiated it, for one. The contract also has an opt-out clause after the fifth year, though the way things have gone lately, it’s hard to imagine Hosmer walking away from the Padres. He’ll certainly be in San Diego in 2020, when the club will hope his age-30 campaign goes far better than his previous couple seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Notes: Myers, Profar]]> 2020-02-16T01:58:44Z 2020-02-16T01:58:44Z
  • Wil Myers also isn’t any stranger to the Mookie Betts trade saga, as he was reportedly part of a Padres offer headed to Boston in exchange for the star outfielder.  “It seemed extremely real at that given moment,” Myers told the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee and other reporters, though he noted that “I’ve been traded twice.  I’ve been in trade rumors a long time.  I’ve figured out how to deal with it.  I have no hard feelings toward anybody…I understand the business side.”  The proposed Betts trade was far from Myers’ only inclusion in the offseason rumor mill, as the Padres have reportedly been trying to unload the former AL Rookie Of The Year (and at least some of the $61MM remaining on Myers’ contract) for much of the winter.  If a trade doesn’t happen, Myers is looking forward to a new season and a fresh start with a new coaching staff, as he admitted to a bit of tension with former manager Andy Green.  “Listen, it goes both ways. There are times you’re with a guy for four years and certain things happen,” Myers said.  “Nobody hates Andy.  It was a situation that happens.  At the highest level, emotions run high.”
  • While the Padres haven’t shut the door on using Jurickson Profar at other positions during the season, Profar’s Spring Training work will be focused around second base, manager Jayce Tingler told’s AJ Cassavell and other reporters.  “Right now, where we’re trying to get his progression on the throwing, we find it best to just stay concentrated at second base,” Tingler said.  “But, again, being a switch-hitter and being able to play six or seven different positions, we view that as a positive.”  Acquired in a trade with the Athletics in December, Profar is still looking to fully establish himself as an everyday player after dealing with multiple injuries and overall inconsistent performance, and he has still played in only 491 MLB games since the start of the 2012 season.  Profar has spent the bulk of his time at the big league level as a second baseman (1536 2/3 of 3590 2/3 career innings), though after also spending a lot of time as a shortstop, third baseman, first baseman, and left fielder, it could be that stabilizing at one position will be what helps Profar not just improve defensively, but also get his bat on track.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Sign Seth Frankoff To Minor League Deal]]> 2020-02-14T15:58:34Z 2020-02-14T15:58:34Z The Padres have signed right-hander Seth Frankoff to a minor league deal and invited him to Major League Spring Training, tweets’s AJ Cassavell. He’s repped by Vanguard Sports.

    Frankoff, 31, has spent the past two seasons pitching for the Doosan Bears in the Korea Baseball Organization. In that time, he’s logged a combined 3.68 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9 over the life of 266 2/3 innings (50 starts). Prior to his time in the KBO, Frankoff pitched in the Athletics, Dodgers and Cubs organizations. He appeared in one game with the Cubs’ big league team in 2017 but has not appeared in the Majors otherwise. In 165 1/3 innings of Triple-A ball in his career, Frankoff owns a 4.46 ERA and a 152-to-68 K/BB ratio.

    Frankoff gives the Friars some depth both in the rotation and in the bullpen, as he’s pitched extensively in both roles throughout a decade-long professional career. San Diego has added Zach Davies to its rotation mix and Emilio Pagan to the bullpen this winter via trade. The Friars have also dished out free-agent contracts to Drew Pomeranz (four years, $34MM), Craig Stammen (two years, $9MM) and Pierce Johnson (two years, $5MM). That slate of acquisitions dampens Frankoff’s hopes of breaking camp with the club, but he’s a reasonable depth option to have on hand in the event of injuries throughout the pitching staff.


    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres Claim Breyvic Valera]]> 2020-02-13T01:28:43Z 2020-02-13T01:25:52Z The Padres announced Wednesday that they’ve claimed infielder/outfielder Breyvic Valera off waivers from the Blue Jays. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, San Diego has placed right-hander Anderson Espinoza on the 60-day injured list. Espinoza underwent Tommy John surgery late last April.

    Valera, 28, was designated for assignment earlier this week when Toronto finalized its one-year deal with reliever Rafael Dolis. Valera spent time with both the Jays and Yankees in 2019, though he appeared in just 17 games and took just 52 plate appearances. Overall, Valera has appeared in the Majors with five teams but played in just 54 games, hitting .223/.294/.298 in 138 trips to the plate.

    Lack of MLB track record aside, the switch-hitting Valera is the owner of a .302/.374/.442 slash in 1550 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. Coupled with his defensive versatility –he’s played second base, third base and all three outfield positions — it’s easy to see why so many clubs have been intrigued by his skill set and taken brief looks at him. At this point, however, Valera has exhausted all three of his minor league option years, meaning he’ll need to break camp with the Padres (or another club) or else be traded or placed on waivers once again.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[No Deal Between Padres & Tim Beckham]]> 2020-02-12T15:18:57Z 2020-02-12T14:32:08Z 9:17am: Halt the presses on this one: Heyman now tweets that he mixed up his Beckhams. The Friars were already known to have a deal with infielder Gordon Beckham.

    8:32am: The Padres have signed shortstop Tim Beckham, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). It’s a minor-league arrangement.

    Though Beckham can compete in camp for a spot in the pecking order in the San Diego system, he won’t be a candidate to head north on the active roster. He’ll first need to finish serving an 80-game PED suspension.

    Beckham would first be eligible to appear with the Pads about a month into the season, but it stands to reason he’ll be ticketed for Triple-A to begin his time with the organization. There isn’t an immediate opening for a roster spot now anyway, though the situation could be quite a bit different come May.

    If things go well, Beckham could give the Friars an alternative or complement to second baseman Jurickson Profar. The club also features utility options Ty France and Greg Garcia.

    The 30-year-old Beckham has had quite the roller-coaster of a career. He’ll never reach the promise that some foresaw when he was selected with the first overall pick of the 2008 draft. Beckham has had his moments over the years, with stretches of useful and even high-quality play in the majors, but has not yet found consistency.

    All told, Beckham owns a .249/.302/.431 lifetime slash line through 1,751 plate appearances — roughly league-average output. He’s probably not quite an average fielder at shortstop and doesn’t run the bases particularly well, but there’s ample reason to believe he’s good enough for a platoon or reserve infield job of some kind in the majors.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[This Date In Transactions History: The James Shields Signing]]> 2020-02-11T06:00:03Z 2020-02-11T06:00:03Z We’ve reached the five-year anniversary of a free-agent signing whose effects are still being felt today. It was on Feb. 11, 2015, that the Padres signed longtime workhorse James Shields to a four-year, $75MM guarantee. They beat out at least three other teams to sign Shields, a California native whose homecoming didn’t work out as planned for him or the Padres.

    The right-handed Shields was one of several household names the Padres acquired that offseason in hopes of snapping what was then an eight-year playoff drought. Along with adding Shields, general manager A.J. Preller nabbed the Upton brothers (Justin and Melvin), two other high-profile hitters in Matt Kemp and Wil Myers and closer Craig Kimbrel. Despite all those moves, though, the Padres didn’t end their playoff skid that year, nor have they made the postseason since. What’s more, only Myers is still a member of the organization, and he’s now the owner of a contract the Padres would love to clear from their books.

    Shields, then 33 years old, joined the Padres off stellar runs with the Rays and Royals. The man known as “Big Game James” and “Complete Game James” debuted in 2006 and threw at least 200 innings in each season from 2007-14. He was at his best in the four seasons preceding his deal with the Padres, as he fired a league-leading 932 2/3 innings of 3.17 ERA/3.49 FIP ball with 7.95 K/9, 2.27 BB/9 and a 46.3 percent groundball rate.

    While Shields remained a fairly effective innings-eater in his first season as a Padre, he didn’t offer the type of front-line production he had in prior years. Shields wound up tossing 202 1/3 frames of 3.91 ERA/4.45 FIP ball, posted 9.61 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9, and recorded a 44.9 percent grounder rate in 2015. That went down as his lone full season as a member of the Padres. After Shields got off to an underwhelming start the next year, the Padres traded him and $31MM of the $58MM left on his contract to the White Sox in June 2016. Like the Padres before them, the White Sox were mistakenly under the impression Shields would help them push for a playoff spot. And like the Padres now, they’re still in the midst of a long postseason drought. Meanwhile, Shields hasn’t pitched since 2018 – the last of three rough seasons in Chicago.

    While the Shields-Padres union didn’t work out as planned, it’s one that could benefit them for many years. After all, had they not signed Shields, they may not have been able to pull off one of the biggest heists in recent history. The Padres acquired two players – righty Erik Johnson and then-infield prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. – in exchange for Shields. Johnson didn’t amount to anything in a Padres uniform, and he hasn’t pitched professionally since 2018. But the Padres struck gold on Tatis, who was just 17 when they got him and wasn’t regarded as a premium prospect. Tatis eventually soared up prospect rankings, though, and looked like a can’t-miss talent by the time he made his major league debut last season. He delivered in a big way as a 21-year-old, though injuries limited him to 84 games and 372 plate appearances, as he slashed a tremendous .317/.379/.590 with 22 home runs, 16 stolen bases and 3.6 fWAR.

    It’s safe to say Tatis is now one of the foremost young building blocks in the sport. Had it not been for a free-agent signing that went awry, he might not even be a Padre right now.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Padres To Sign Juan Lagares]]> 2020-02-11T03:06:49Z 2020-02-11T00:37:09Z The Padres have agreed to a deal with outfielder Juan Lagares, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). It’s a minor-league pact that’ll pay out at $1.4MM if Lagares can crack the big league roster. There are also $1.1MM in available incentives and a March 19th opt-out date, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

    Lagares could step into the shoes of just-traded center fielder Manuel Margot. First, Lagares will have to show that he’s primed to bounce back from a rough 2019 season.

    At his best, Lagares gave the Mets high-end defensive work and approximately league-average hitting — quite a nice combination for an up-the-middle performer. But that was way back in 2014, when Lagares logged a Gold Glove and set the table for a spring 2015 extension.

    Things just haven’t gone as well since. Lagares has dealt with some health problems and back-slid at the plate. UZR and DRS both soured on his glovework in 2019, though Statcast provided plenty of evidence that Lagares still has plenty of skill with the glove on his hand.

    It seems the Friars will have a rather wide-open camp battle. Lagares and Wil Myers are each right-handed-hitting candidates to see time in center. Word is that lefty swinging Franchy Cordero could shift to the prime defensive spot; the recently acquired Trent Grisham is also an option there. Tommy Pham is sure to see a lot of action in the corner, with all of the above-listed players and a few others (in particular, Josh Naylor and Abraham Almonte) also potentially competing.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Padres, Gordon Beckham Agree To Minor League Deal]]> 2020-02-10T18:02:26Z 2020-02-10T18:02:26Z The Padres and veteran infielder Gordon Beckham are in agreement on a minor league contract, per Chris McCosky of the Detroit News (Twitter link). He’ll be in big league camp with the Friars this spring. Beckham is represented by CAA.

    The 33-year-old Beckham spent last season in the Tigers organization, appearing in 83 games and logging 240 trips to the plate — both his highest totals since the 2016 season. The former No. 8 overall pick (White Sox, 2008) managed just a .215/.271/.372 slash, though he chipped in six homers, 13 doubles and a pair of triples. Beckham appeared at all four infield spots with Detroit in 2019.

    Although he’s never produced much in the Majors (career .237/.300/.367), Beckham does carry a lifetime .293/.364/.436 slash in Triple-A. He’s a reasonably versatile piece that the Padres can move all around the infield in Triple-A El Paso if he doesn’t make the big league roster out of camp.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Padres Unlikely To Make Late Push For Mookie Betts]]> 2020-02-09T15:00:57Z 2020-02-09T15:00:57Z
  • Between all of the uncertainty surrounding the Mookie Betts trade and yesterday’s Padres/Rays trade that sent Manuel Margot to Tampa Bay, there has been some speculation that the Padres could be clearing center field for a late strike at acquiring Betts.  However, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) suggests the opposite, noting that since Margot was reportedly part of the Betts negotiations between the Red Sox and Padres, sending Margot to the Rays indicates that San Diego decided to go in another direction.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Padres Acquire Emilio Pagan From Rays For Manuel Margot And Prospect Logan Driscoll]]> 2020-02-09T04:21:21Z 2020-02-09T02:37:35Z The San Diego Padres have acquired reliever Emilio Pagan from the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange, they’re sending centerfielder Manuel Margot and prospect Logan Driscoll to Tampa Bay, per The Athletic’s Josh Tolentino (via Twitter). The deal is official, per’s Juan Toribio.

    Both teams add strength to strength here. The Rays get an elite defensive centerfielder to back up one one of the league’s best in that department, while the Padres give their already-strong bullpen another weapon to lock down the ends of ballgames. Both teams, interestingly, are addressing an area with this trade to which they’ve already devoted resources this winter.

    Turning to the players, Pagan departs one strong bullpen to join another in San Diego, where he’ll team up with incumbent closer Kirby Yates and 21-year-old flamethrower Andres Munoz. The Padres will be his fourth team in as many seasons after year-long stints with the Mariners, A’s, and Rays. Last season was his most successful to date, however, as he notched a 12.3 K/9 versus 1.7 BB/9 in his 70 innings as a Ray. San Diego seems to value his ability to retire both right and left-handed hitters, citing Pagan’s matching  .179 BAA in their press release.

    The Friars have dedicated quite a bit of resources to a bullpen that now looks like a genuine asset. They earlier re-signed Craig Stammen to a two-year, $9MM deal and convinced Drew Pomeranz to give San Diego a second go-round with a surprising four-year, $34MM commitment. The Padres also brought in former San Francisco Giant Pierce Johnson after a successful stint overseas.

    Pagan’s one season in Tampa Bay came after being acquired from Oakland in the three-way deal that landed Jurickson Profar in Oakland and sent Brock Burke, Yoel EspinalKyle Bird, Eli White, and international draft pool money to the Rangers. The Rays also received a draft pick in that deal. Pagan served as the Rays de facto closer last season, notching 20 saves in 66 games with a 2.31 ERA/3.30 FIP.

    For their part, Tampa adds an elite defensive centerfielder in Margot who may yet have another offensive gear in him as he nears his age-25 season. Margot hit an underwhelming .234/.304/.387 last year, in line with his career mark of .248/.301/.394 – but by just about any measure, Margot ranks among the game’s very best at traversing the centerfield grass. Last season, he scored 6 DRS, 5.8 UZR, and 11 Outs Above Average. Margot provides the Rays with defensive certainty up the middle should Kevin Kiermaier again struggle to stay healthy.

    The Rays have made of a winter of adding outfielders by way of relatively surprising multi-player deals. Margot joins Hunter Renfroe as San Diego expats now based in Tampa. The Rays also dealt top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore to St. Louis for Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena, who now figures to start the year in Triple-A. Austin Meadows, of course, remains on hand as an everyday player in the outfield.

    For the Rays in particular, the move represents another somewhat disorienting instance of doubling down on a particular area. Their earlier trade for Martinez, who figures to spend much of his time at designated hitter, came shortly after the signing of Yoshi Tsutsugo, another prospective candidate to spend time at designated hitter.

    Here again, the addition of Margot could be seen as an over-saturation of Tampa’s centerfield pool, where they’ve already added Arozarena. The Rays have reportedly been after Margot for some time, however, and though Kiermaier remains the unequivocal starter in center, they view Margot as an “impact defender,” per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    Driscoll was the 73rd overall pick of the Padres in the 2019 draft. His ability to play both catcher and outfield certainly marks him as a prospect of some intrigue. In 39 games at Low-A in 2019, Driscoll hit .268/.340/.458.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Details On Padres’ Pursuit Of Mookie Betts]]> 2020-02-05T13:53:14Z 2020-02-05T13:53:14Z The Padres missed out on their bid to acquire Mookie Betts, but that doesn’t make them the loser of the negotiations. It was always tough to imagine a deal for such a high-end rental player that would truly make sense for the San Diego organization. And the latest reporting seems to bear that out.

    Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune and Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription link) each covered the aftermath of the Betts deal from the Friars’ perspective. Each noted the impact of the Padres’ limited budgetary flexibility and the organization’s realistic assessment of its 2020 outlook. The picture that emerges is one of an organization that was ready to make a deal on certain terms but not to extend any further.

    One Padres source that spoke with Acee seems to have summed things up nicely — not only capturing the team’s approach but also the reason a Betts strike felt strained. “We were not going to trade on our future,” said the unnamed employee. “We’re in for the (long haul), not one year.”

    Betts was not only a rental, but one that was exceedingly unlikely to remain in San Diego for the long haul. Not only has he made clear he wishes to test the open market, but the Friars are in no position to take on a mega-contract with Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer on the books. Per Lin, the San Diego organization launched its effort to structure a deal “more than a month ago,” so it was obviously a serious and long-running bid. At worst, the team’s pursuit forced the powerhouse Dodgers to pay a bit more. But it was always going to be tough to find a package that suited the Red Sox and made sense for the Pads.

    So, will the Padres front office now pivot to alternatives? Perhaps, but not necessarily in the coming weeks. Lin writes that “the expectation is that the Padres will begin the season with what they have.” While he says the team has asked about Kris Bryant, in addition to Indians stars Francisco Lindor and Mike Clevinger, it doesn’t seem there’s any active blockbuster structuring in the works.

    We can still probably expect plenty of eyebrow-raising trade rumors involving the Padres, the nature of which will surely depend upon how the coming season unfolds. Both Acee and Lin say that a wide variety of players were discussed in the trade talks surrounding Betts, indicating that the Pads remain willing to entertain a range of scenarios.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Red Sox, Dodgers In “Advanced” Talks On Mookie Betts]]> 2020-02-05T14:44:11Z 2020-02-05T02:05:47Z 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.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Red Sox Still Pondering Mookie Betts Trade Scenarios]]> 2020-02-04T12:09:59Z 2020-02-04T12:09:59Z The waiting game continues, despite expectations to the contrary. As of this morning, with just one week until pitchers and catchers report, Mookie Betts remains a member of the Red Sox.

    All day yesterday it seemed a trade could drop at any moment. Reports the evening prior had indicated as much. Padres beat writer Kevin Acee tweeted midday that “multiple people close to situation believe resolution on Mookie Betts trade is imminent.”

    It seems the Friars expected to find out whether they or the division-overlord Dodgers would land a new superstar. They’re still waiting right along with the rest of us.

    The Red Sox are still engaged with both west coast organizations, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. And the Boston club is still not even settled on particular trade scenarios with each prospective trade partner. Speier says that concepts both including and excluding high-priced lefty David Price remain on the table.

    So, is today the day? Perhaps. But new Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom seems determined to take his time making his first major call. While it has appeared that talks were building to a crescendo, Speier explains that the club still isn’t feeling timing or logistical pressure.

    Presumably, there’s a point in the near future at which the constraints of the calendar will force a move (or lack thereof). The Padres and Dodgers need to make alternative plans if they can’t nab Betts. And the Boston club no doubt prefers not to open camp with such massive uncertainty hanging over the organization. Even if it can’t be said that a resolution is now truly imminent, it seems quite likely to come within the week.