Best Trade Packages Dodgers, Padres Can Offer for Mookie Betts Amid Rumors
The 27-year-old is a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and was the American League MVP in 2018. He's owed $27 million in 2020 after avoiding arbitration with the Sox, and he's set to become a free agent following the 2020 season.
He'd be a rental...but he'd be one heck of a rental.
On Tuesday, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that Boston is "more serious than ever about a [Betts] deal, and rivals are starting to think a trade may happen."
With that in mind, let's examine a pair of packages each club could offer based on rumblings and a dollop of informed speculation.
Dodgers Possible Offer No. 1
The Trade: Dodgers send C Keibert Ruiz to Boston for Betts and LHP David Price
The Dodgers are reportedly open to trading anyone outside of their top two prospects, middle infielder Gavin Lux and right-hander Dustin May, per Alex Speier of the Los Angeles Times.
To acquire Betts, they could take back the $96 million that fading left-hander David Price is owed through 2022 and give up a minor league chip such as catcher Keibert Ruiz. MLB.com rates the 21-year-old as the No. 33 prospect in baseball, but 24-year-old Will Smith is blocking him from joining the majors.
The Red Sox are reportedly trying to shed salary and stay under the luxury-tax threshold. Ditching all or part of Price's salary plus Betts' payday would go a long way toward that goal, and they could net a high-level prospect at a premium position.
On the flip side, taking on Price's salary while surrendering a possible top-tier backstop might sting for the Dodgers. But they're trying to win their first title in 31 years. Sacrifices must be made.
Padres Possible Offer No. 1
The Trade: Padres send OF Tommy Pham, LHP Drew Pomeranz, OF Wil Meyers and INF CJ Abrams to Boston for Betts
According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Padres "are willing to send two young major leaguers and at least one prospect to Boston along with [outfielder Wil] Myers in exchange for Betts."
That could include right fielder Tommy Pham and left-hander Drew Pomeranz along with a high-level minor league chip such as shortstop CJ Abrams, who rates as MLB.com's No. 45 prospect yet is blocked on the left side of the infield by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Pham and Pomeranz would fill needs in the rotation and outfield for Boston, while Abrams could slot into the middle infield mix with second baseman and injury-plagued franchise icon Dustin Pedroia seemingly on his way out.
If Boston absorbs all or most of the $60-plus million remaining on Myers' contract, this could be a fit.
Dodgers Possible Offer No. 2
The Trade: Dodgers send OF Alex Verdugo, OF Joc Pederson and RHP Josiah Gray to Boston for Betts
If the Dodgers wanted to sweeten their offer, they could offer outfielder Alex Verdugo, who posted an .817 OPS in 106 MLB games last season and is ready to claim his role as an everyday big leaguer.
A straight-up swap of Betts for Verdugo might not be enough for the Sox.
But what if Los Angeles included outfielder Joc Pederson, an impending free agent who will earn $8.5 million in 2020, plus a potential-laden minor league pitcher such as righty Josiah Gray (No. 75 on MLB.com's rankings)?
That deal might be too enticing for the Red Sox to resist.
Padres Possible Offer No. 2
The Trade: Padres send OF Manuel Margot, RHP Cal Quantrill and OF Wil Meyers to Boston for Betts
If the Padres want one year of Betts and think they're ready to challenge the Dodgers for the National League West title, they could wow the Red Sox with the following package: center fielder Manuel Margot and right-hander Cal Quantrill.
The 25-year-old Margot could become a fixture in the Red Sox's outfield and the 24-year-old Quantrill could buttress their starting rotation.
This deal would also likely require the Red Sox to take on some of Wil Myers' remaining contract.
Are the Pads at a point where adding Betts would make them legit contenders? There's no consensus on that point, as Acee reported.
But if they could shed part of Myers' salary while acquiring one of the game's best players in the midst of his prime, it would unquestionably boost their status in 2020 and re-shape the MLB landscape.
All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.