Despite public assertions from chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, the Boston Red Sox at minimum appear willing to continue listening on trade inquiries for Mookie Betts. There’s some belief the likelihood of trading Betts has increased in the wake of parting with manager Alex Cora.
The Red Sox were already motivated to get below the luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season. And with Cora being dismissed and a potential punishment forthcoming once Major League Baseball concludes its investigation, moving forward with a rebuild this year could be the best course of action.
But if Boston was to part with their All-Star outfielder, the general consensus held they would look to pair him with another high-salary player. David Price, who is owed $96 million over the final three years of his contract, profiled as a likely candidate.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox are looking to find a trade partner that will take on at least most of Price’s remaining salary and include top prospects in order acquire Betts:
Boston has indicated to other teams, according to sources, that any team that lands Betts will also have to take David Price (or Nathan Eovaldi presumably), with either most or all of the money owed to Price, $96 million.
The Red Sox are also asking for two high-end prospects to front the deal.
Typically, a team taking on the type of contract Price has at his age would reduce what they need to part with in a trade. If the Red Sox were to pay a significant portion of his remaining salary, the Dodgers — or another club — may be more inclined to meet their trade demand.
While acquiring Betts would represent a significant boost for any roster, his value is somewhat diminished by his impending free agency. Of course, it’s plausible the Red Sox would grant a window to negotiate a contract extension.
That could prove to be a moot point, however, as every indication has been Betts has his sights on becoming a free agent after the 2020 season.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman hasn’t been completely adverse to acquiring a player before they reach free agency, though such a trade has come at the deadline. The Dodgers nevertheless have the prospects for Betts and financial capability to assume Price’s contract, but discipline has often taken priority.
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