BOSTON - The Boston Red Sox have traded Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team deal that was reported by The Athletic and confirmed by ESPN. In addition to Betts and Price, Boston is also sending cash to Los Angeles. In return, the Dodgers are shipping Alex Verdugo to Boston. The Minnesota Twins are involved, as well. The Dodgers are sending a pitcher, Kenta Maeda, to Minnesota and the Twins will reciprocate by sending pitcher Brusdar Graterol to Boston.
Verdugo hit .294 in his rookie season last year and Graterol's ten appearances last year resulted in a 1-1 record with a 4.66 earned run average. Maeda's ERA was 4.04 for L.A. last year. Price, a pitcher who proved himself and has been one of the best throwers of his generation, is thirty-four and has a massive contract. When he was healthy, though, he was still electric. Betts is the best of them all. Arguably the second-best player in baseball, Betts was MVP in 2018 with a .346 batting average.
These are the facts. This is my opinion.
It sucks. This sucks. I love David Price and I always believed in him and it was so amazing to watch him shrug the devil off his back and help the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. I understand the contract dump element of his deal, but it sucks that he goes down as a trade chip. I hope history remembers his time in Boston fondly because I certainly will. I thank him for everything.
But the Mookie trade is what sucks the most. In 1918, the Red Sox won the World Series and two years later, they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees for nothing. Now, two years removed from a 2018 title, Boston is trading its best player again. But why? Why even give the league the hint that another 86-year drought is in the wings?
If we don't win a championship in that time, fine. You know, I'm content. They've given us all so much as an organization. But don't do this. Don't trade away one of the best players in all of baseball and someone who is already an all-time great Red Sox. Why?
Mookie Betts is an incredible player and he is in his prime right now. He was completely justified to ask for a contract that was slightly below the benchmark set by Mike Trout. To offer him three hundred million for ten years? Yes, it's a good deal, but with supply and demand, there is no denying that Mookie could find an even more lucrative deal, which he likely will with the Dodgers. I'm not holding my breath that he comes back in free agency because he sees how Boston wants to play ball. They think the fact that he is homegrown talent means he owes them some kind of loyalty. Guess what? You owe him the money, John Henry because he is the player and you are a billionaire owner in a salary cap-less sport. We have one of the biggest markets in sports! We can afford it!
But no, instead the team refused to play ball with Mookie and the priorities of the team are clear. Henry would rather get an even bigger profit for himself than pay one of the best players in baseball and compete for championships. And yes, it sucks that we won't see Mookie in Boston anymore. I love him! He's so kind and talented. He was so fun to watch. This makes the game significantly less fun. And it really, really sucks that this is the path Henry and the owners took. They'll make more money, but the interest in this team kind of just got sucked out of me. We're rebuilding now, but we never had to. The point of having a sports team is to find players like Mookie. To trade him away in his prime? It sucks. This really sucks. There is no reason they couldn't afford him, except for greed. Greed is the path chosen by the Red Sox today.
Just like in the past when Terry Francona was driven out of town with a smear campaign, I expect the Red Sox to try to paint Betts as the antagonist in these negotiations. But don't buy it. Mookie deserved what he asked for and the Red Sox were more interested in their profit margins than on the field talent.
Mookie Betts and David Price, thank you for everything. I will always remember you for how talented you were and how much you contributed to the Red Sox and to my own fond memories of Boston baseball. You're players I always want to root for and I'm going to miss you both so much. I'll always remember what you gave us and I'll always remember what could have been.
Image via Wikimedia Commons