Breaking Down The Mookie Betts Trade

Breaking Down The Mookie Betts Trade

By Graham Tuck

February 5, 2020

While it was a trade that we all saw coming, the Mookie Betts trade still rocked the sports world on Tuesday night.  In case you missed it, here is the full breakdown for the trade:

Boston Red Sox receive:

Alex Verdugo (from LA)

Brusdar Graterol (from Minnesota)

Los Angeles Dodgers receive:

Mookie Betts (from Boston)

David Price (from Boston)

Cash considerations (from Boston)

Minnesota Twins receive:

Kenta Maeda (from LA)

At first glance, the Dodgers are clear winners of the trade.  However, if you look deeper, there’s more to this trade than just the Dodgers beefing up their starting nine.  Here’s the full list of the winners and losers of this blockbuster deal.


The Dodgers 2020 World Series Hopes

Even after shipping Joc Pederson to the Angels, Mookie Betts makes the Dodgers outfield one of the league’s best.  Their top nine is now one of the best in the league, and if they can get the best out of David Price, they’ll no doubt be favorites to win the NL Pennant for the third time in four years.  However, there’s no guarantee that Mookie will want to resign in LA after his rental year, and with that contract in doubt there’s no telling what will happen after this season.

The Twins’ and Red Sox’ Starting Rotations

After multiple injuries since 2016, the Twins announced in January that their plan was to leave Graterol in the bullpen for 2020.  Graterol had flashed as a starter, showing a fastball that’s consistently over 100 MPH. His injuries forced him into the bullpen in Minnesota, but the Red Sox will likely give the 21 year old the opportunity to start alongside Chris Sale in the rotation.  The addition of Maeda is also a positive for Minnesota, as they now have plenty of impressive options including Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, and new addition Homer Bailey. Maeda has the potential to make their starting rotation one of the best in the league, and Twins fans should expect nothing less than an AL Central title.

The Red Sox

It seems odd to say that the team that gave up a former Cy Young winner and a former MVP winner is one of the winners of the trade, but it’s true.  With the Sox’ front office wanting to get under the luxury tax, getting rid of Price and Betts’ cap hits are huge. The Red Sox are a team that should be in win-now mode, but their roster showed last year that they are incapable of doing that this year.  Next off-season, Mookie will ask for far more than the Red Sox would be willing to pay, and it makes more sense to dump Price’s contract and get young players for Betts now instead of letting him walk. The Red Sox will now be able to retain most of their core and simultaneously bring in prospects to build for future success.  In addition to all of this, the Yankees look like they’ll be an absolute juggernaut this year. Even if the Red Sox spent more than their wallets could manage, they would still be hard pressed to beat out New York for the AL East title.


Red Sox Fans

It seems impossible that a team that is just one season removed from a World Series title could be in rebuild mode already, but that’s the reality of the situation in Boston.  The Red Sox have all the offensive talent in the world, but their bullpen kept them out of a playoff spot last season. The Red Sox still have players like Chris Sale, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and J.D. Martinez who could put any team into contention automatically, but the fact of the matter is that the Red Sox won’t be winning another ring with this core group of players as long as their new general manager Brian O’Halloran refuses to spend big money.  The Red Sox are doomed to be mediocre until they either completely clean house, or spend big dollars. After the Betts trade, it seems like their strategy will be the former, but until then it will be a sad life for the Boston diehards.

Mookie Betts

While the Dodgers are a contender for the Commissioner’s trophy this season unlike the Red Sox, they are another team that will be in luxury tax territory in the coming seasons.  There’s no guarantee that they’ll want to pay for Betts, which puts Mookie in a similar situation to his position in Boston. Mookie will get paid in 2021, but there’s still a question as to who’ll be writing his checks.

The San Diego Padres

The Padres were *this* close to becoming a legitimate World Series contender.  Their dynamic duo of Machado and Tatis Jr. has already turned heads, and Betts would’ve been an incredible addition for their franchise.  Instead of being able to get Mookie as rumors circulated that they might, the Padres watched him go to the Dodgers, and essentially let their chances at their first NL West division title since 2006 slip out of their grasp.