Report: Mookie Betts, David Price Traded from Red Sox to Dodgers in Blockbuster

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2020

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to trade superstar right fielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday night.

ESPN's Kiley McDaniel later outlined the trade, which involved the Minnesota Twins:

Betts won his arbitration case and was paid $10.5 million for the 2018 season before he signed last month a record-breaking one-year, $27 million deal for 2019 to avoid arbitration.

Boston's inclusion of 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner David Price in the deal was not a surprise, as it was reported last month by ESPN's Buster Olney (h/t TheScore's Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb) that interested teams had to be willing to take on the left-hander's remaining three-year, $96 million contract. Red Sox brass said publicly in September that they wanted to get below the $208 luxury-tax threshold.

Betts helped lead the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2018, and he was named American League MVP.

He beat out a strong field to win the award by hitting .346 with 32 home runs, 80 RBI, 129 runs and 30 steals. He also won a Gold Glove for his spectacular defensive play.

While Betts' numbers weren't quite as strong in 2019 and the Red Sox missed the playoffs, he was still one of the best players in baseball with a .295 average, 29 homers, 80 RBI, 135 runs, 16 steals and his fourth consecutive Gold Glove.

The 27-year-old finished second in 2016 American League MVP voting behind Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout after putting up a .318 batting average with 31 home runs, 113 RBI, 122 runs and 26 steals.

That performance reportedly led the Red Sox to explore the possibility of signing Betts to a long-term deal. Per Scott Lauber of ESPN, however, Betts wasn't willing to engage.

The 2011 fifth-round pick is a five-tool player who was an ideal fit for the Red Sox and Fenway Park, but he will bring his all-around skill set to Los Angeles.

Betts has shown he has 30-homer power, and he's also speedy and a great defender, which makes him among the most valuable players in baseball.

Parting ways with Betts couldn't have been an easy decision for the Red Sox, but they may have had to move some of their other top players to sign Betts to the type of contract he deserves.

While the trade could allow Boston to address some of its other areas of need, it was undoubtedly a big win for Los Angeles—and the Red Sox may regret it in the coming years if Betts continues to produce at an elite level.

After two straight trips to the World Series, the Dodgers were eliminated in the National League Division Series last season.

With Betts in the fold, the Dodgers will have one of the most dangerous lineups in MLB, as he'll join reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Justin Turner.

Given Betts' ability to impact the game in so many ways, his addition will be a game-changer and may shift the balance of power in the NL back in the Dodgers' favor.

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