After weeks of trade rumors swirling, the Los Angeles Dodgers have finally acquired Boston Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts.
Editor’s note: The Betts trade has finally gone down and the trade is Mookie Betts and David Price to LA in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. The Dodgers did a separate deal with the Twins in which they sent Kenta Maeda to the Twins for Brusdar Graterol, a comp draft pick, and Luke Raley.
For the last few weeks, the Dodgers have been one of the two teams linked to Boston Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts. The San Diego Padres were the other team involved in trade discussions but their offer was not as strong as the Dodgers due to the fact that they would’ve needed the Red Sox to take on Wil Myers’ contract.
The Dodgers landed David Price and Mookie Betts although the package going back to Boston is still unknown although Alex Verdugo is expected to be in the deal. The Red Sox ramped up their efforts to trade Betts after he rejected a ten-year offer worth $300 million dollars. He reportedly asked for twelve years and over $400 million dollars. Rather than risk losing Betts for nothing but a compensation draft pick, the Red Sox chose to get a return for him now.
This move is exactly what many Dodger fans have been looking for over the last few years. This is a “go for it” type move to try and capitalize on the Dodgers’ championship window that is as open as it will ever be. Mookie Betts will make a loaded lineup even more potent for the Dodgers and gives the team a true leadoff threat which is something that has been missing over the last few years.
Not only is Mookie a power threat but he gets on base at a .374 clip for his career and has stolen 126 bases in his career. The Dodgers have used Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor at the top of their lineup in recent seasons, but neither is a true leadoff hitter. Joc has hit leadoff the most in recent years but he lacks the speed and leadoff traits that are sought in leadoff hitters.
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While the Dodgers did pay a price to acquire the four-time All-Star and one time American League MVP, the blue likely did not have to part with Gavin Lux or Dustin May which is a big boost for the future of the team. Even if the Dodgers do have Betts for just one season, they are not likely to have traded “the farm” and still have a farm system that is loaded with an abundance of talent.
If Betts helps guide the Dodgers to a World Series title in 2020, the deal will be a huge success regardless of who went in the trade. At least now if the Dodgers do come up short in their quest for a championship, they didn’t burn the farm in acquiring Betts.
Mookie Betts saves the Dodgers from what has been a disappointing off-season so far. After comments from Dave Roberts at the Winter Meetings about an aggressive off-season and roster turnover, the Dodgers’ only signings have been reclamation type signings in Blake Treinen, Alex Wood, and Jimmy Nelson.
By acquiring David Price, the Dodgers starting pitching depth becomes even more loaded as they already had nine starting pitching options before adding Price. Price finished with a 4.28 ERA in 2019 although his FIP was a much more manageable 3.62. David did average 10.7 K/9IP last year despite a fastball that continues to lose velocity each season.
The Dodgers may try to let Price rebuild trade value before shipping him elsewhere this season. Price was excellent in the first half of 2019, going 7-2 with an ERA of 3.24. Andrew Friedman is very familiar with Price since he drafted him with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft. At a minimum, Price should eat innings as a three or four starter in Los Angeles, assuming he isn’t dealt elsewhere.
The Dodgers made a serious run at Gerrit Cole but the Yankees were willing to top any offer and Cole seemed to want to play for his childhood team. After Anthony Rendon disliked the “Hollywood lifestyle” the Dodgers were unable to sign a true impact player. Now the Dodgers will begin the season as heavy favorites to make it back to the World Series and true title contenders. Stay tuned as this article will be updated when the players involved are updated.