Red Sox Rumors: Dodgers can assemble best Mookie Betts trade package
By Sean Penney
The Dodgers have the assets to deliver a better trade package for Mookie Betts than the Padres if the Red Sox are willing to make a deal.
After months of debate regarding the future of Mookie Betts, we may finally be nearing a resolution. It started as a pipe dream for hopeful suitors but an offseason of turmoil combined with outrageous contract extension demands appears to have put the Boston Red Sox on the verge of dealing the former MVP.
A pair of NL West rivals have been heavily tied to these trade rumors of late. While the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers have both been in contact with the Red Sox about acquiring Betts, it’s the latter team that has the chips to make the best offer.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier this week that the Padres were on the verge of “essentially going all in” for Betts. According to their sources, the Padres are willing to include outfielder Manuel Margot or Josh Naylor and starting pitcher Cal Quantrill or Joey Lucchesi in addition to at least one prospect. Right-hander Luis Patino and catcher Luis Campusano are among the prospects the Red Sox are rumored to have interest in.
Here’s the twist though – the Padres are insisting that they dump the $61 million owed to Wil Myers over the next three years. Naturally, the Red Sox balked at absorbing that albatross contract for an underachieving player and the sides have been haggling over how much of Myers’ salary the Padres would need to eat in order to make the deal palatable.
The Dodgers can make a much cleaner deal. They have the payroll flexibility to afford the $27 million Betts is owed in his final season before hitting free agency. They don’t need to ask Boston to take back a bad contract.
Andy McCullough of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers remain engaged with the Red Sox about a trade for Betts and sheds light on what they may be willing to offer. Los Angeles won’t put their top two prospects on the table but their deep farm system has several desirable assets and their major league-ready talent is more appealing than what San Diego is offering.
Let’s compare the best trade packages these teams could realistically offer based on these reports. We’re assuming that the Padres won’t give up MacKenzie Gore, the best pitching prospect in baseball and ranked No. 5 overall in MLB Pipeline’s rankings. Likewise, the Dodgers aren’t going to include Gavin Lux (No. 2) or Dustin May (No. 23). As great as Betts is, it’s unreasonable to expect any team to give up those coveted assets for a one-year rental.