The Boston Red Sox only 15 months from their last World Series championship, has seen lots of change in that short span. The architect of that team Dave Dombrowski was fired and their manager Alex Cora was fired due to his involvement in the Astros cheating scandal. Dombrowski who is notorious for going all-in with teams and sacrificing top prospects and ballooning payrolls did exactly that with the Boston Red Sox. Although they got their World Series in a remarkable 2018 season, the repercussions are starting to hit them. Coming off a season where they went 84-78 and missed the playoffs they still have a payroll estimated to be at 236 million dollars. Owner John Henry has expressed a desire to get under the 208 million dollar luxury tax. New GM Chaim Bloom has decided to approach this by exploring trades for their star Mookie Betts. Betts who will be making 27 million this year and becoming a free agent after this year is one of the best players in MLB. Whether the Red Sox should be trading Betts is a whole different story however at this time it seems likely they will.
The top two suitors for Betts have been the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. San Diego has a very nice young core and many more prospects coming up. However with Betts only being under control for 2020 where they seemingly will not contend for a World Series and unlikely to extend him due to large contracts for Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer the contending Dodgers are probably his best suitor. The Dodgers who play in a very large market and usually near the top of MLB in payroll has become more conservative of late. Under President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers have been very reluctant to hand out large contracts or give up top prospects in trades. This has paid off to an extent as Walker Buhler is on his way to becoming an ace and Gavin Lux and Dustin May are also very highly touted. This conservative approached has not yet resulted in a World Series as the Dodgers lost in the World Series in both 2017 and 2018 then lost in the NLDS to the later champions Washington Nationals. It is now time for the Dodgers to finally make that aggressive move and go out and acquire 2018 AL MVP Betts.
Betts who is a top 3 player in baseball slashed .295/.391/.524 with 29 HR and 80 RBI. In the middle of a championship window, the time to strike is now. Betts would immediately slot into the middle of the Dodgers lineup and a combination of him and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger could be the most dangerous tandem in the league. The cost to trade for Betts should not be too expensive. With Betts making lots of money this year and only 1 year of control, the return will not be asinine. The return could include young outfielder Alex Verdugo who has shown lots of potential but would be without a spot with Betts on the team. With their payroll only expected at 188 million the Dodgers could also give Betts the lucrative contract he desires after the season. He already rejected 12 years and 300 million from the Red Sox and with Mike Trout’s 12 year 430 million dollar deal expect him to slot in slightly below that number if he hits the open market. The Dodgers have set themselves up perfectly to make their big splash. Adding Betts could get the Dodgers back to the World Series, this time hopefully winning for the first time since 1988.