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Dodgers: How Much is Too Much For Mookie Betts?

At what point would the Dodgers be overpaying for the superstar?

The Mookie Betts rumors are heating up, with several insiders reporting there is a strong chance Betts gets traded this Winter. The Dodgers are seen as the frontrunner, while the Padres are also in the mix.

Eye test, analytics, whatever your preferred method of evaluation is, there’s no refuting Betts is among the best players in baseball. Acquiring him would instantly put the Dodgers from contender to favorite status, and finally give fans something to cheer about this offseason. 

That being said, how much is too much for Betts’ services?

The most important thing to consider is his contract status. Betts is set to be a free agent next year, giving the Dodgers only one year of control. More importantly, his preliminary contract demands are reported to be “ridiculous”. 

Given that Andrew Friedman has never shelled out a nine-figure contract in his tenure with the Dodgers, resigning Betts doesn’t seem too likely. However, Betts will be only 28 by season’s end, has no significant injury history, and is one of the game’s best, so an exception could be made.

Regarding the price for Betts’ services, sending out uber-prospects Gavin Lux or Dustin May would be an overpay. Andrew Friedman refused to deal either one for Felipe Vázquez or Francisco Lindor, and should keep the same mindset here. There’s no debating Betts would help the team more in 2020, but Lux and May are far too important down the line and for sustaining success. The Dodgers smartly held on to Cody Bellinger instead of moving him for Brian Dozier, kept Corey Seager instead of Cole Hamels, and should do the same here.

As touched on here, a more realistic trade package for Betts would involve Alex Verdugo or Keibert Ruiz as the headliner, with supplementary pieces such as Jeter Downs, Tony Gonsolin, or Josiah Gray. Trading any of these assets would result in a hit to the Dodgers’ depth and long-term outlook, but well worth it for a seven-win player like Betts, even for just one year.

The main takeaway is surrendering Gavin Lux or Dustin May should not be an option. Friedman knows this, as we’ve seen with prior trade discussions. With them out of the picture, the Dodgers have to be all-in on Betts. Any combination of prospects after those two should be in play, as well as young major-league pieces such as Gonsolin and Verdugo. For a superstar like Betts, overpaying via prospects is virtually impossible, but Lux and May are exceptions to that rule. They must be kept at all costs. 

Written by Wyatt Asher

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  1. It’s safe to say he won’t be coming back here if we got him with those stupid contract demands so the package better be cheap or no deal

  2. Dodgers are in a position to win now, and Betts may help put them over the edge. As long as Lux and May are not dealt, I’m in favor of acquiring Betts, even if it’s only for one season. I don’t think the current FO will be willing to give Betts a 10+ year contract for 2021 and beyond (nor do I think they should).

  3. (1) DO NOT TRADE GONSOLIN! (2) Don’t make the trade until the middle of July when Boston will have less leverage to keep Betts and will thus be inclined to take a veteran like Joc Pederson and lesser propsects than Lux, May, Gonsolin or Ruiz. If I had to trade one of those 4, it would be Ruiz. Why? Because you already have a catcher in Smith that has shown he can play day to day and handle a major league staff. Plus in Ruiz you can flash the “potential” card in front of Boston which might tempt them to make the trade for less cost to the Dodgers. Package some more Elder AAA players like Garlick. or some Double A/Rookie prospects or high draft picks that aren’t quite working out as hoped. (3) DO NOT TRADE GONSOLIN!!! Did I say don’t trade Tony Gonsolin already?

      • I concur with Blue here and remember, Dodgers end up with pretty much nothing after 2020 so I just cannot imagine in their right minds that Boston would demand that much for a 1 year rental and if they wait until July, then a 2 month rental. As it is however, if Padres were to trade and get Betts my guess is they won’t have to surrender as much as what Boston may ask Dodgers for , wss

    • If we dont use up some bona fide trade chips, Mookie will go to San Diego. If we want that to happen, then we want to stop complaining as fans because we have been pining away all offseason for a big move. I see making a deal for Mookie as a must. Unless he signs a reasonable extension, it may be for only a year, but still worth trying to get a WS ring this year. The drought has reached better than thirty years and must end. I would sign and close a deal for Mookie for Gonsolin and Ruiz right now. The only thing holding this up is probably Price with Boston wanting to send him to LA. If that had to happen to seal the deal, I would make them take Pollock.

    • I agree Blue. Gonsolin should be off limits in this case. He’ll be in the starting rotation regularly in 2021. Ruiz is the one I’d most likely give up for the reasons you stated plus the fact that he regressed badly last year in the minors. I’d only give up Verdugo if doctors have concluded that his back problem is likely to be chronic. Obviously a couple lesser nonames would be preferable. Betts seems more committed to going full free agent than anyone I’ve ever seen, precluding anything beyond a one year rental. But if the Padres get him, it is at least conceivable that they could challenge the Dodgers this year, instead of next year.

    • I second that. DO NOT TRADE TONY GONSOLIN. I agree with your whole post. Ruiz OK. Stripping OK. Doc OK. Gonsolin NO OK.

    • Dodgers can’t wait until July. The Padres will snatch him up if we don’t get him now. If the Dodgers wait until July, it’ll be too late. He’ll be a Padre by then.

    • I agree let them wait! See how the team is in July and what the needs are after giving the rookies a chance to develop.

  4. Why is so Lux much more valuable than Verdugo? Verdugo is a proven major league hitter with virtually the same potential. Verdugo PLUS others is insane as are the other prospects named in this piece. One year does not equal multiple top ten prospects. Did I mention the increase in payroll? Let Mr. 12 years for over 400 million play in San Diego or wherever……

    • I don’t know why everyone is so enamored with Lux either. I wouldn’t trade him for one year of Betts but I have no problem moving him in a package to Cleveland for Clevinger/Lindor, or just Clevinger. I think Clevinger’s the real prize. Yes I’d like to have Lindor as well. Lux is an unknown commodity. Sure, he was great in AA and AAA but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be great at the show.

      • Very true, Queeksdraw. Dodgers have a PLETHORA of LHB and I am not advocating Lux to be dealt , and he won’t for just a 1 year rental. But Verdugo IMHO is expendable for 2 reasons:
        We have an abundance of OF to choose from
        He is still not fully proven, as a result of being out for the last half of season with a back injury, and of course he can be replaced with a RH bat.

  5. I’m cool with Gonsolin or Ruiz in the trade for Betts. We already have Will Smith as our new catcher and as good as Ruiz is, I think that makes him trad-able. Gonzolin is a question mark in my book. DO NOT touch May or Lux…..or you’re just plain stoopid…….. Thank you!

  6. A note from a lifetime Dodgers fan who lived in Boston the past few years. Boston doesn’t like Price and Price doesn’t like Boston. If we were to get Betts and Price I could guarantee that Price would be a great pitcher and fit with the Dodgers.

    • Agreed 1960, Price would be October help and has shown the big games don’t bother him. But Friedman thinks the Rookies and Wood will dominate against Strasburg,Sherzer and Corbin so there’s no Price for Price!

  7. B patient my BluCru peeps! Our time is now and we will b rewarded! I believe in our team regardless of 17’ WS, which is ours and they know it! We were told of multiple crowns coming soon! We r all beyond ready for this!! Enjoy peeps, NorCal Pantone Fan!

  8. Conversation with Betts first, get him to sign a 7 year extension. I think that takes him to age 34. Or a 3 year deal that takes him to age 30. If he won’t, end talks & wait till this seasons trade deadline. Don’t give away the farm, unless it’s for top notch starting or relief pitching!
    And be frugal there as well!!

    • Boston fan here. Betts will never sign for just 7 years. He’s going to want 10+ easy, probably 12 as he is currently demanding (allegedly). Bottom line…he wants Trout money it as close as possible.

  9. The Dodgers don’t need Betts. They need, middle relief pitching. I would settle for trading Kelly back to Boston for Betts. However, the Bosox aren’t stupid!

  10. Yes he checks the boxes the Dodgers are looking for, + fielder and + right handed batter with speed but there is no way the FO will sign him, either during the season or after. So depending on who they would have to give up, I would vote no on this trade. I’d hate to see May go, same for Verdugo (if he’s healthy) for a one year rental.

  11. Betts without a contract extension: 1 catcher (not Smith) 1 pitcher (Gray or Goslin) Peterson or Peter’s….
    Betts with extension add Vertugo

  12. I’m less inclined to give up Verdugo. He showed promise last year and there’s a spark about him.
    Under no circumstances go near Price and that contract. Bad enough living with Rich Hill being injured so much.
    I’d give up Ruiz or Downs plus Gray and definitely include Pollock. Unfortunately, he just seems to get injured at some point every year.
    Every team has a slight edge on Boston at the moment and it’s only going to get worse as the season progresses. The Red Sox can’t afford to let Betts just walk for nothing at season’s end. Better to get what they can for him now.

  13. If Andrew Friedman wanted to make a splash he should have spent $ for FAs Already. He has made his bed. he needs to stop considering getting rid of our younger controllable talent for a Rental.

    Can we trade Andrew Friedman for betts?
    Toss in kasten for Blake Snell or tyler glasnow?
    I’d be very happy for those trades.

    • Dodger Blue Hello there. Keep in mind we cannot keep all those prospects and as far as those FA’s were concerned, they were not too interested in signing here and the way Roberts handles the lineups and pitching IMHO is one of the reasons why.

  14. If we get Betts we need to get rid of at least 1outfielder, maybe 2. If Boston’s main concern is reducing payroll then give them Joc in return, maybe add Maeda and a 2nd tier prospect. Why trade anyone with long term potential for someone with short term potential? If they don’t like it walk away.

  15. The question isn’t what players/prospects should the Dodgers part with to acquire Betts. The question is does Betts (a 7 WAR player) make it more likely the Dodgers return to the WS vs. having those other players/prospects. If the answer is yes, then you don’t hesitate to make the trade (Spoiler: the answer is yes). How much is a WS championship worth? Subtract any of the players/prospects being discussed. You won’t care about any of them when Mookie is standing at the plate with bases loaded in game 7 of the WS against the NY Yankees…

  16. Friedman runs the Dodgers like he ran the Rays… draft, develop…. act like you don’t have money to pay FA. They should take David Price and pay him so they don’t have to give up too much. If they could keep Verdugo and have Betts, Verdugo and Bellanger in outfield that would be ideal.

    Infield Seeger needs to move to 3B, Lux at SS , Muncy at 2B, and Turner at 1b. Catcher Will Smith.

    Kershaw
    Bueher
    Urias
    May
    Price

    Maeda

  17. The Dodgers are where they are because of a good, solid farm system consistently producing quality players. I would hate to see giving up a couple of good prospects for a one-year rental. There is zero chance of signing Betts to a long-term deal (not at his ridiculous asking price) and, frankly, we don’t need him. We won 106 games last year without him… why does everyone think we need him or Lindor?

  18. If the Dodgers trade for Betts and he delivers in October then the question becomes moot. If they trade for him and the Dodgers don’t win, then the answer becomes “anything.” For those who insist that it is better to hang on to top prospects no matter what, I suggest you reconsider 1992-1996. Five ROYs. One division title.

  19. No deal for a one year rental (unless straight up for Pollock)…ok if he is willing to sign a reasonable extension…and then Ruiz and Pollock and maybe someone from AA. Who says Verdugo won’t be as good as Betts in a couple of years. Same with Ruiz…but we have other catching prospects.

  20. rainbirdmuse
    Most of those ROTY were traded away (piazza) being one of the first. your argument holds little water infact an argument could be made that if they held on to Mondesi, Piazza and others they would have at least played in a WS.

    • They ensured they’d never win when they traded Pedro. They could’ve won some playoff series with peak Nomo, Valdez, Ramon and Pedro. They drafted some good players but were clueless on how to put it all together

    • The one rookie (not ROY) Dodgers should have kept was Paul Konerko, had Konerko stayed on the team, they probably would have gone to one WS in the early 2000’s (with Sheffield, Shawn Green, Furcal).

  21. PaulDodgerFan1965
    $$$ makes FAs want to come here more than anything dosen’t matter about coaching style when players are signing ridiculous contracts.
    Greinke insert players name here.
    I understand what you are saying but… you think that getting rid of young controllable talent some of these youngsters before they have had a sniff of the majors… for a 1 season Rental??? We are still developing and deciding what we have in some of these guys.
    Again for a 1 year Rental
    Makes 0 sence.
    They should have splashed the cash for what we needed instead of looking for a trade an outfielder really.
    Betts is a great player Statistically he won’t be as good in dodger stadium. The dodgers will not sign him because hes gonna ask for an astronomical price so by giving up some of our younger talent for a rental on a player who just doesn’t seem to fit.
    We need pitching a corner infielder Right handed bat. Help in the bullpen

  22. Too expensive. Too crazy. I went to Fan Fest. Two Brooklyn Dogs and one water: $22.50 The stadium has gone mad. I’ll see you at a Quakes game.

    • We don’t need anyone! Don’t forget we have a top 5 farm system, free healthcare for all!! And you can keep your Dr!

  23. I’m leery about taking on Price and his “obnoxious contract”. I’m also leery about giving up too much
    for a 1 year rental! I also saw the Phillies give up the farm for Bryce Harper and his lifetime endowment
    and now it’s the Yankees and Gerrit Cole and his lifetime endowment. Also how can we forget the Red Sox dumping Carl Crawford’s fat long term contract that proved a complete WASTE for us!!! So I just recommend Beware….before you step in another hole.Keep it simple and pay a reasonable amount which likely will be a 1 season rental!!

  24. No, to a trade for Betts . . . . . price is too steep for a one year rental. At that rate, I’d prefer Kris Bryant of the Cubs

    • Bryant is a real talent but not on the same scale as Betts anymore, if he ever was. I LOVE the idea of Betts in the outfield with Bellinger but for one year of control Verdugo is a steep price. Unless of course the Dodgers suspect he may be a long term injury risk. Still, 10-12 years and $400MM is too much for any player (well, except Trout) especially one that is already 28.

  25. Betts’ numbers won’t be as good in Dodger Stadium as in Fenway.

    Long terms contracts are not a good idea: Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Scott Kazmir, AJ Pollack, Bobby Bonilla.

    But where are you going to put all of the 7 prospects who made the MLB Top 100 prospects who don’t include DJ Peters and some others? And some others only in their first or second year in the minors?

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