The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced their trade for Mookie Betts and David Price, sending Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong to the Boston Red Sox. Boston also included cash considerations — believed to be half of Price’s remaining $96 million salary.
Sunday’s agreement came several days after the Dodgers, Red Sox and Minnesota Twins came to terms on a three-team trade. However, the Red Sox reportedly grew concerned over Brusdar Graterol’s medicals and sought additional compensation.
Negotiations reached an impasse but picked back up as the Dodgers worked on completing separate trades with the two clubs.
During the early stages of the offseason, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman made it clear the organization was targeting elite talent. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he anticipated more roster turnover than in years past.
For several weeks all that amounted to was signing Blake Treinen, Jimmy Nelson and Alex Wood to one-year contracts, losing Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu in free agency, and trading Casey Sadler to the Chicago Cubs.
Betts’ arrival not only makes the Dodgers a prohibitive favorite in the National League, but arguably one of the top two or three teams in all of baseball. The 2018 American League MVP joins a roster rich in talent but also as a needed piece.
Betts gives the Dodgers a consistent leadoff hitter, right-handed bat to balance a lineup heavy on lefties, and a Gold Glove defender in right field. He is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season, but the early indication is the Dodgers inted to re-sign him.
Meanwhile, Price figures to slot into their rotation behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. The veteran is coming off a down season that ended in September due to surgery to remove a cyst from his left wrist.
Price finished the year 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 1.31 WHIP in 22 starts. He’s not far removed from a successful 2018 campaign, and one in which the Dodgers witnessed firsthand as Price took on any role during the World Series.
Despite plenty of speculation the Dodgers would need to part with one or two of their notable prospects in a trade for Betts, they instead traded from positions of depth with Downs and Wong. Meanwhile, Verdugo begun to put together an impressive rookie campaign, only for it to be cut short because of oblique and back injuries.
Downs was acquired in the December 2018 trade with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit a combined .276/.362/.526 with 35 doubles, 24 home runs and 86 RBI over 119 games while playing for High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.
Wong is one of the many catching prospects in the Dodgers organization, and essentially has Will Smith, Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya ahead of him.
Although the initial expectation was the Dodgers would trade Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the L.A. Angels after acquiring Betts and Price, that agreement has since been called off.
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