The baseball world was taken by storm this week with historic penalties levied against the Houston Astros after MLB determined the organization crossed a fine line by electronically stealing signs during the 2017 season.
It led to both general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch being fired, creating a ripple effect for other teams. The Boston Red Sox and New York Mets also made changes at the manager position, parting ways with Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, respectively, for their roles in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
With all three teams currently in a state of turmoil, some wonder whether the repercussions will lead to the Red Sox ramping up their efforts of trading star outfielder Mookie Betts before the regular season.
Betts’ name has surfaced in trade speculation all offseason, with the Los Angeles Dodgers emerging as an ideal landing spot should Boston decide that now is the right time to move him.
While Betts’ availability continues to be a hot topic, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom anticipates him being on the club’s Opening Day roster this season, via Rob Bradford of WEEI Radio:
“That’s really been my expectation all along,” said Bloom Wednesday when asked if he expected Betts to be on the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster. “I think big picture, and this applies to everything, we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not open to anything that improves our chances to compete as successfully and as often as possible over the course of the next decade. That has kind of been our guiding principle as we have accessed interest in any of our players. But you do that with the expectation that they will be here. And that will certainly be the case with Mookie.”
With a desire to add elite talent to the the roster, the Dodgers have explored all avenues in making that possible this winter, attempting to sign Gerrit Cole before shifting their attention to the trade market.
With Betts being just one year away from reaching free agency and the Red Sox looking to shed salary, many believe he would be a logical acquisition for the Dodgers. L.A. has also been linked to Francisco Lindor, and to a lesser extent, Kris Bryant, in recent weeks.
Prior to Cora being fired, Boston was said to be leaning towards holding on to Betts going into the 2020 season. Whether this week’s events lead to a change of heart remains to be seen, but the Dodgers presumably will be ready to strike a deal should the opportunity arise.
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