Not even three years later, and the Boston Red Sox have given up on the top prospect they received from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade. And folks, that's why you always trade for superstars, no matter the price.
On Thursday, to make room for the newly-signed Masataka Yoshida, the Red Sox designated shortstop Jeter Downs for assignment and kicked him off the 40-man roster. Boston now has seven days to either trade Downs or place him on irrevocable outright waivers. He's as good as gone.
Back in 2020, the Dodgers acquired Betts and David Price (paying half of his remaining $64 million) for Downs, Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong. Downs is now out of the picture. Verdugo, who was the subject of trade speculation following the 2022 season, has been nothing special. Wong is 26, has played in 33 MLB games, and has a .651 OPS. He's a backup catcher at best, it would seem.
The Red Sox traded one of the best baseball players of a generation for ... that. And it's even funnier they kicked Downs off the roster for Yoshida, who many scouts and pundits believe the Red Sox massively overpaid for ($105 million over five years, including the posting fee). They did that before they lost Xander Bogaerts.
Like we said this week, Boston's plan to mirror the Dodgers' front office philosophy by importing a former Rays executive is failing miserably.
The Dodgers somehow win the Mookie Betts trade again after Red Sox roster move
In an attempt to expedite Downs' development, which was a horrific idea in hindsight, the Dodgers bumped him all the way to Triple-A in 2021. This was after he played in just 107 High-A games and 12 Double-A games dating back to 2019. He missed all of 2020 due to the pandemic canceling the minor-league season.
So he went from a full-ish season at High-A, to a cup of coffee at Double-A, to not playing at all for a full calendar year, right to Triple-A. In 180 games with Worcester, Downs hit .193 with a .661 OPS. But that didn't stop the Red Sox from bringing him up to the MLB level!
Downs, whose somehow managed to homer off Gerrit Cole and notch a clutch RBI single against the Yankees in extra innings last year that began New York's second-half spiral, appeared in just 14 games with the big-league roster before the Red Sox determined they had enough. He hit .154 with a .427 OPS.
Now's probably a good reminder to tell you that the Red Sox axed the first version of the Betts trade because they didn't want Brusdar Graterol due to an issue with his medicals. He ended up in LA, too, while the Red Sox just spent $32 million on Kenley Jansen, who will now be closing games for a sub-.500 team.
OK, we'll call it even for the 2018 World Series beatdown.