For talks that were reported dead at a time, they sure have found life. Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts is reportedly back on the trade market and the talks appear to be more deep than ever.
According to sources around the Boston media circuit, the Boston Red Sox recently made a contract extension offer to their young star for ten years and $300 million, the same contract that the San Diego Padres handed third baseman Manny Machado last off-season. We will get into the Padres in a bit. Betts reportedly countered with a 12-year, $420 million deal, a far cry from Boston’s offer.
The contract extension offer being rejected by Betts’s camp has seemed to have triggered an enhanced interest by the Boston Red Sox in trading him. The Red Sox are not in a good place financially and it might benefit themselves to trade Betts in an effort to keep young stars like Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers in the long-term.
This timeline was posted on Betts’s history with the Red Sox and their offers:
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) January 28, 2020
Mookie Betts has now rejected four offers from Boston to extend him. It’s clear he wants out and/or wants to be traded. It’s also clear that he wants to at least test the free agent market unless he gets dealt to a place he likes.
Enter: Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers have the assets to be able to get this deal done with or without the inclusion of starting pitcher David Price’s albatross of a contract. They have it at the major league level and at the minor league level. The issue is, so do the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres, in addition to the Dodgers, have been the most active team in the pursuit to acquire Mookie Betts. The Padres have the deepest farm system in all of Major League Baseball and have all the goods to be able to acquire him. Like the Dodgers with AJ Pollock, the Padres have Wil Myers to match contracts. This appears to be a two-horse race at the moment.
The Padres, even with Betts, will not be a threat to the Dodgers in 2020. However, with their developing young core and a potential Betts extension, the Padres could become not just a competitor for the NL West crown, but for a World Series.
Mookie Betts has long been attached to the Dodgers and it would not be surprising to see him dealt to Los Angeles. Friedman and new Red Sox front office man Chaim Bloom have likely laid down some form of a foundation for a deal, but it appears that the Padres are working the hardest for him right now — they have the most to lose.