Mookie Betts Trade

Dodgers work Boston over.

Jim Rome
February 05, 2020 - 9:20 am
Mookie Betts and David Price

USA Today

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You’re probably wondering what the hell you’re going to do without the NFL now.  What are you going to do on weekends? What are you going to do the rest of the week? What are you going to talk about? Hell, how are you going to get down? What are you are going to gamble on. And the truth is, there is no easy answer. I mean, there’s plenty of other things going on, but nothing to fill the void specifically. But I’m here to help.  How about a big ass trade in major league baseball? Would that help? How about a big ass trade in baseball and another big ass trade in the Association? Good. Now we’re getting somewhere. Because last night was a hell of a night for trades. It was like some rando got ahold of a trade machine and just started plugging in random teams. Dodgers-Angels trade? Cool. But do better. Go bigger. Okay, the Dodger-Red Sox-Twins trade. Nice. But you know what’s better than a three-team trade? A four team trade. And the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Hawks and Rockets pulled that off. I was just waiting for some sort of cross-league trade involving the Flyers, Texans, and Thunder.

Let’s start with the Dodgers-Red Sox-Twins trade, because that was the biggest of the night and it was an absolute monster. 

With the caveat that it is pending medical reviews, the Red Sox are trading Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers for Alex Verdugo. The Dodgers are sending Kenta Maeda to the Twins for Brusdar Graterol, who is going to the Red Sox.

I’ll keep it short and simple: the Los Angeles Dodgers just worked one hell of a deal. And the Boston Red Sox just embarrassed themselves.

Let’s start with the Dodgers and the wizardry that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman just pulled off. He acquired Mookie Betts. Mookie Bleeping Betts. Four-time All-Star. Four-time Gold Glove winner. 3-time Silver Slugger. 2018 AL MVP. 2018 batting champ. 

Alvin, give me a little Randy Newman for this next part.

Andrew Friedman looked at a 106 win team and then added an MVP. They’ll have two MVPs in the outfield. The 2018 AL MVP playing next to the 2019 NL MVP. And they’ll have a lineup that could look like this:

Mookie Betts
Max Muncy
Justin Turner
Cody Bellinger
AJ Pollock
Corey Seager
Gavin Lux
Will Smith

Is that any good? To quote Walker Buehler on Twitter last night: 

Hahahahaha 

Hell yes he should be laughing. Because pretty much Every Dodger fan is... Because that 106-win team just added one of the best players in baseball. The only argument is whether Betts is the best player not named Mike Trout or the second-best player not named Mike Trout.

Either way, that lineup almost sounds like the lineup of an All-Star team. 

And that’s before we get to the fact that they added David Price to their rotation. I know that Price has been a little banged up lately, but it certainly wouldn’t shock me if changing leagues and changing coasts helps him. And getting the guy who dominated your guys in the 2018 World Series is never a bad thing. 

When the Dodgers missed out on Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, it would’ve been easy to panic and start throwing money around at free agent arms and bats. There were recognizable names on the market and signing some of them would show that the Dodgers weren’t satisfied with winning the West each year, they wanted more. 

When you’re in that situation, especially after how the season ended to the Nationals and the shocking gutpunch that series was, the easier move is just to sign someone, anyone, have a press conference, hold up a jersey, pose for photos, and talk about how you made your team better. 

The smarter move, and the Andrew Friedman move, was to wait. And pull off something like this. Because getting Mookie Betts and David Price is far better than anything they could’ve done in free agency.

And the deal just keeps getting better. Not only did the Dodgers not rush out to sign a warm body or two just to have a new face at spring training, they got their guys and they didn’t give up a lot to get them. 

And they sure didn’t give up any of their best prospects. The thinking for a long time had been that the Dodgers were going to have to finally part with an elite prospect like Lux or Dustin May if you really wanted to be a player in the trade market. And the Dodgers didn’t do that.

Friedman held his fire on free agents and held the line on prospects, and still got what he wanted. 

That’s effectively Alex Verdugo for Mookie Betts and Kenta Maeda for David Price. A third or fourth outfielder for one of the best players in baseball and Maeda, a very good starter at home and shaky on the road, for David Price. 

Except it’s not that. Because the Dodgers are getting money in the deal. The full amount isn’t known, but Boston is paying them to take Betts and Price. I repeat: 

BOSTON IS PAYING LOS ANGELES TO TAKE MOOKIE BETTS AND DAVID PRICE OFF THEIR HANDS.

That isn’t just a trade, that’s a straight jam job. And an absolute waving of the white flag from the Red Sox, but I’ll get to more on them later. This is about the Dodgers.

Does that guarantee them a World Series ring? No. Nothing does that. You can’t guarantee that. You can’t guarantee that they’ll win more than 106 games in the regular season this year. Sometimes super teams don’t work out. In fact, a lot of times super-teams don’t work out. But this isn’t a super team, this is a really good team and they just added two very nice pieces. 

But it still doesn’t guarantee anything. And the arrival of Betts and Price doesn’t guarantee that the bullpen will hold up in October. 

But what it does say is that they aren’t satisfied. Winning seven straight division titles and going to two of the last three World Series isn’t enough. They want more. They want to win the whole damn thing.

And in an era where fewer and fewer baseball teams have that approach, no names mentioned, actually I will mention at least one: the Boston Red Sox, in an era when fewer teams are trying to win, the fact that the Dodgers are going for it is refreshing.

It shouldn’t be, but it is. The National League still goes through Chavez Ravine and that road just got a lot tougher for everyone else.