Contributor blog submitted by Jake Ignaszewski, forwarded by Gio Rivera.
Ever since the calendar turned to October 31st and the MLB offseason began, it seems like the biggest question not only being talked about from the Red Sox from news outlets but it seems like everyone that covers the MLB is asking the same question throughout these past few months of Will Mookie Betts be traded?
The first rumors were brought up after Betts wasn’t interested in having extension talks with the Red Sox at the end of this season and it came out later that he wants to “explore his options’ after the contract runs out in after the 2020 season. With the new direction, the Red Sox are heading in with trying to cut payroll and add prospect capital, I believe trading Betts is the best route to getting that payroll flexibility back. Especially with the multiple of high-cost contracts the Red Sox already have, it would be tough for them to be able to pay up to the projected $30 million dollars that Mookie is looking for next season.
Chaim Bloom claimed at the start of the season that the team is “exploring all options” but it came out during these past few weeks that his expectation is that Betts will start the season in Boston. With Bloom’s experience in evaluating players and finding quality prospect talent during his time with the Rays, I believe he can pull off a blockbuster trade to get some quality players for the future and to fill our current needs. The team has also been looking to add David Price to a potential Mookie Betts trade to help offload both of their very high salaries in an effort to get below the luxury tax threshold. With Price still having $96 million on his contract for the next 3 years, this deal would give the team a lot of payroll flexibility to help them fill their glaring needs.
Throughout this offseason teams like the Dodgers and Padres have expressed “strong interest” but according to reports, nothing has gone anywhere. Earlier this month, it came out that the Dodgers in the Red Sox were engaging in talks and Corey Seager could be a possibility but the Dodgers weren’t willing to surrender any of their top prospects. Now, this past week reports from Boston Globe writer Alex Speier that talks between the Padres and Red Sox are “ongoing” and that “multiple people familiar with the discussions characterized an agreement as unlikely….yet both sides appear to have a legitimate interest.” The Red Sox have said to have an asking price of “two high-end prospects to front the deal,” but this could really boost Boston’s ranked 30th in the league farm system.
A few scenarios being thrown around from reports are the Padres sending Wil Myers to get his $69 million contract off the books and also for a few of San Diego’s top prospects. Since they have the No. 1 ranked farm system in the league, they are a perfect trade candidate for the Red Sox but according to reports they aren’t willing to surrender any of their “top five talent’ like Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino. Myers would be an interesting centerpiece for a deal like this but he could be used at his old position of 1st base and could even be used in the outfield like he has been for the past few years in San Diego.
In my opinion, I think this would be the best time for the Red Sox to trade Mookie if they’re going to at all because if they wait till the Trade Deadline then the value that they’d be getting back would be cut in half. I would like to see the Red Sox find other ways to unload high-value contracts and be able to sign Betts to an extension but if he’s insistent on exploring the market then we should get SOMETHING for him. We don’t want to be like the Giants and MadBum this year when they got ZERO for him and just let him walk. Even with all these rumors and whispers of a potential trade, I still believe that Mookie Betts will be in a Red Sox uniform on Opening Day.
I’ll be talking more about this subject on my podcast called BoSox Talk this Wednesday! Check it out at: anchor.fm/jakeiggy
Photo source: (forbes.com)