With the Braves signing Marcell Ozuna this week, and the White Sox going with more of a buffet approach, it looked like the best Mookie Betts trade possibilities were off the table. Out of the cold air last night came a warm blast from San Diego. Hot Stove indeed. According to The Athletic, and confirmed by Alex Speier, discussions between the Red Sox and Padres have begun on a Mookie trade. So what's on offer?
The Padres graduated consensus top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. in 2019 and still boast one of the top farm systems in all of baseball. Mackenzie Gore is a left handed fireballing starting pitcher stud, and Taylor Trammell is a top Outfield prospect. It is a rumored the declining Wil Myers would be part of the deal to offset Mookie's salary. But the truth is his remaining three years at $22 Million per is great news for the Red Sox. That means they can get higher quality prospects. The Red Sox were reportedly looking for two top prospects in return for Betts. The Boston Globe reported earlier this morning what we've been saying for a long time, the Sox would indeed get a better return than what the Diamondbacks got for Paul Goldschmidt. And with a farm system this deep, Chaim Bloom can flex his small market, prospect mining skills. Honestly, the sixth or seventh best Padres prospect would probably push for first in the Red Sox system. And if the Sox could somehow wrangle Closer Kirby Yates into this deal...consider the bullpen rebuilt.
Why Trade Mookie
It's a fact that Mookie is going to free agency and wants to break the bank after 2020. The Red Sox simply have to get their payroll below $209 Million by the end of 2020 or suffer serious penalties in terms of draft picks. It's possible the Red Sox will have a small penalty from the Commissioner's office for any 2018 sign stealing shenanigans. But they might be losing draft picks regardless. And if they lose draft picks because of payroll plus a cheating scandal they are really behind the eight ball. The Sox currently have around $240 Million in payroll. It's complicated, but Wil Myers costs $13 Million against the payroll in 2020, despite his $22 Million AAV. That would knockg $14 Million, more or less, off the payroll. Yates is $7.5 Million so it would cut that savings in half, which means that's a long shot. The point is the Padres have many possibilities to fix the Red Sox problems.
If the Red Sox want to reboot as quickly as possible, trading with the Padres is the way to go. Very few teams have the depth of farm system the Padres can offer, and if it happens Chaim Bloom will have done the best he possibly can to start to right the ship . Go for it Red Sox.
Featured Image via The Athletic