Dodgers division-by-division trade targets: AL East

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees hits a sacrifice fly to score Aaron Judge #99 in the third inning of game two of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees hits a sacrifice fly to score Aaron Judge #99 in the third inning of game two of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his sixth inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo

Mookie Betts is one of the best players in the game today. His merits are nearly unmatched across the league, and he’s been rumored to be a Dodgers target this offseason.

Here’s how Dodgers Way’s own Mike Wittman justified dealing for Betts just a few weeks ago.

"Switching things up from the obvious, that Mookie Betts can flat out hit, let us start with his defense that is underappreciated.  Mookie is once again a finalist for the American League gold glove in right field and he has won a gold glove in each of the last three seasons. Not only can Betts play right field, but he has also played centerfield and second base in the past so he features one of the traits that the Dodgers’ front office loves, versatility.  The Dodgers could keep Betts in right field and play Cody Bellinger in centerfield with Verdugo in left.  That would give LA an outfield with two gold glove finalists and another very good fielder in Alex Verdugo."

Betts and Bellinger both have the versatility to play either in the infield or the outfield, and both can play at a Gold Glove level. This would allow for the Dodgers to consider dealing for Francisco Lindor as well, or trading Max Muncy, or even deal AJ Pollock and Joc Pederson without putting any undue stress on the roster’s balance.

Betts would be expensive for 2020, but if Pollock, Pederson or any others are included, that could help offset the cost, and the Red Sox may eat some of Betts contract if the Dodgers throw in a solid set of prospects for the star rental.

Another potential trade target is Triple-A outfielder Rusney Castillo. Castillo has been stuck in Triple-A for the majority of his time in Boston. He still is getting paid, and he’s got just one year left on his mega-deal.

He’s talented, but as long as he is not on the Red Sox 40-man roster, his salary is not counted against the luxury tax. The former-Cuban star has mashed over the last few seasons at Triple-A, and yet he still is stuck in the minor leagues. If the Red Sox partnered Betts with Castillo and got Pollock, Pederson and pitching prospects back in return, the team could be removing a massive chunk of salary while sacrificing in the short term to achieve some long-term depth, which Castillo and Betts do not and will not ever provide the team.

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