In a move anticipated for weeks the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have to come to an agreement on trade for Mookie Betts and David Price. In exchange, the Dodgers are sending Alex Verdugo and others to the Red Sox. Details are still coming out, but the deal also includes David Price's contract that runs through 2023. The deal was first reported by Dodger Thinking Men on February 3rd on Twitter:
It has since been confirmed by many, including Jeff Passan of ESPN, initially in a very 2020 way:
A Win For Chaim Bloom
Ever since the aftermath of the 2018 World Championship, John Henry has been stating publicly that he and his partners want to get the payroll below the $209 Million Luxury Tax threshold. By knocking the $27 Million of Mookie plus reportedly $15.5 Million (half) of David Price off the books, the Sox will stand at around $190 Million. He played the Padres and Dodgers against themselves so well he got David Price's contract included. This cannot be overstated. Giant check mark for Mr. Bloom!
Chaim Bloom walked into the nightmare of a bloated payroll, a fired manager, and potential sanctions that could set the Red Sox back years. He's been handcuffed by ownership and a 2018 MVP who announced to the world that he is without a doubt hitting free agency after this year and showed little to no indication of staying with the Red Sox. He's been held back by a former Cy Young award winner who's 34, making $32 Million a year, and more mysteriously injured than actually pitching. Through all of that he's set up the Red Sox for the future. That's a pinch hit walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth for our new GM. Can we get a Bloom for President campaign going?
The Red Sox are now set up for the future. Alex Verdugo very well could be better than Andrew Benintendi this year, and he's under control through 2024. Verdugo is a likely .300 hitter with 20-25 home run power right now at the age of 24. That alone for an expiring Mookie contract and half of David Price is fantastic. But getting more prospects thrown into the deal on top of that is beyond good.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins is being sent to the Red Sox in this deal. This guy is 20 years old and went from Rookie ball to the majors this year alone. In the minors he went 7-0 with a 1.92 ERA and .984 WHIP. He went 1-1 for the Twins with a 4.66 ERA and 9.3 K/9. This guy is a comet, pure and simple.
Mookie Betts is on of the great players in Red Sox history. In 2018 he won the AL MVP, the Gold Glove, and the Silver Slugger. No other American League player has ever done that. He's been to four straight All Star games, and garnered MVP votes in five straight years. If not for Mike Trout, Betts would've been considered the best player in the American League over the last few years. And it's not just his offense. He's won four straight Gold Gloves, and is considered one of the top defensive outfielders in the game. Mookie Betts is gone because he wants the largest contract in the majors and likely doesn't want to be here, and because Chris Sale was given $30 Million per, Nathan Eovaldi was given $17 Million per, and Jackie Bradley Jr. is making $11 Million. Also because he is a smaller player, and giving a massive contract to someone like that is a big risk. Also because none of those other players would get this type of return. There are a lot of reasons why, some hard to swallow, some not.
David Price has had a complicated relationship with the Boston at the very least. But he was robbed of the 2018 World Series MVP, and showed up as a certified horse in that postseason that season. He himself joked about the amount of money he was making when he opted in to his contract after 2018. When he's right he's a monster, an Ace. When he's not, well, it's been reported no one would pay him more than $15 Million a year. This deal proves it.
Both of these players will be sorely missed.
This trade is shades of the 2012 deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers. That deal laid the foundations for the 2013 World Series, and allowed the Red Sox to build towards another Championship in 2018. In that deal the Dodgers covered $258 Million of the $270 Million owed to those players. This time the Dodgers are covering a bit less: $75 Million of the remaining $123 Million. The result is the same, a reset for the Red Sox. This time Verdugo and Graterol will be better than James Loney, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus. It's a great deal for the Red Sox, and a great landing for Mookie and David. The Dodgers are ready to win the World Series. As expected, the Red Sox get better than what the Diamondbacks got for Paul Goldschmidt. Once again, the fact that it happened including David Price is almost beyond belief.
Take a bow Chaim Bloom. Now maybe you can get your manager.
Featured Image via DodgersNation.com