The Boston Red Sox have been toying with the idea of trading Mookie Betts all winter long and it’s time to pull the trigger and make something happen.
With each passing day, we’re getting closer and closer to spring training which means Opening Day isn’t too far behind. It feels like since Mookie Betts scored the final run of the 2019 season, the Red Sox have been working on a trade involving the superstar. Throughout the winter my thoughts on the situation have flipped multiple times but now that wavering needs to come to an end.
I understand that Boston wants to keep Mookie at Fenway Park for the prime of his playing days, but that’s easier said than done. With his multiple rejections of their extension offers and with the way his contemporaries got paid last offseason, the dynamo is ready to get paid. Add in that he’s going to be the biggest name on the free-agent board for 2021 and the likelihood of him finding a new home increases.
I would love to see Mookie stay in Boston for the entirety of his career. I’d also love to have season tickets and no student loan debt, but it feels like none of the three is happening anytime soon. So, with a year left on his current deal and most signs pointing towards the exits, Chaim Bloom needs to act before it’s too late.
This may sound like sacrilege to Red Sox Nation but it’s better to get something in return than nothing next winter.
It’s going to be damn near impossible to get a good haul for Betts as he’s essentially just a rental for the season. In the last few days, there have been some rumblings that the big spenders on the block, the San Diego Padres, are working on something with Bloom for Betts. The Padres recently splashed $300M for Manny Machado and could easily dish out for Mookie when the time comes.
Giving them a head start while also giving Boston some high-level prospects could be the right deal. Like I said though, teams are going to be hard willing to part with their cream of the crop youngsters for only a guaranteed year for Mookie’s greatness. BSI’s Sean Penney took a further look into San Diego’s farm system and broke down some of the pieces that the Red Sox could realistically ask for to make the deal worthwhile.
The Padres could be the most likely trade partner for Boston as they not only have the resources to pay for Mookie but also have the talent in the minors the Sox are in need of. If Bloom is going to make something happen before the July deadline then he needs to make sure he’s getting every penny in return. However, the longer he waits to pull the trigger on moving the right-fielder the lower his value is going to be.
Once the season starts any and every game will work against Boston as far as shopping Betts to the rest of the league. All it takes is a slump for a minor injury for a player to go from the belle of the ball to the made cleaning up once the party is over. So Chaim needs to try and get a deal inked before any of the negatives can factor into his negotiating.
Today brought another interesting note to the saga as per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks may have thrown their hats into the ring. This gives the Red Sox the opportunity to form a sort of bidding war for the former AL MVP and could increase their odds at getting a King’s Ransom for his services.
Bloom knows the clock is ticking but he isn’t cracking under the pressure of his new role with the Red Sox. When asked about possible trades during Winter Weekend he didn’t show any of his cards but made it known he was at least in the game.
“Obviously the closer to spring training sometimes there’s practical hurdles as far as you want to feel like you have time for the impact of anything to settle. But I’ve been around deals that have happened very late and there certainly is still time,” Bloom said.
The stove is only going to get hotter as we approach spring training and if a deal is to be made ideally it’d be before that period ends. This gives both teams time to acclimate their new talent to their systems and evaluate just what they received.
I’m sure Chaim’s phone is buzzing pretty frequently as more and more teams are getting into the fight for Betts. This could be the move that defines his legacy has the head of the Red Sox front office.
Boston finds itself between a rock and a hard place. They have arguably the best homegrown talent in the organization’s history currently in the lineup, but not for much longer. Do they trade him away to re-stock the farm system that was gutted by the previous regime? Do they give him the keys to the city and make him the gem of the franchise for the next decade?
It doesn’t matter what route Bloom and his staff go with this decision he will receive vitriol from a contingent of the fanbase while earning praise from the other. Mookie Betts is one of the best players in the game today which is what makes this decision beyond difficult for the Red Sox. I sure as hell don’t envy being in Chaim Bloom’s seat, but if I were, I’d take the offer that sets my team up for the future and wish Mookie the best in his future endeavors.