Boston trades Mookie Betts in 3-team deal

David Fernandez
A freelance writer with more than 10 years experience, David is based in sunny Miami, FL. He holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing, and teaches Journalism. As a freelance writer, David concentrates on sports, health, education and entertainment.

On Tuesday evening, the Boston Red Sox finalized the framework of a three-team trade involving former MVP Mookie Betts. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins each participated in this transaction. 

Pending physicals, the Red Sox sent Betts and left-handed pitcher David Price to Los Angeles for outfielder Alex Verdugo. Minnesota received starting pitcher Kenta Maeda and shipped pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston. 

Betts Trade: Boston Money Dump

The trade of Betts from Boston’s perspective is financially motivated. The former AL MVP remains among the most accomplished young talents in the game, so to deal him at the age of 27 seems counterintuitive. 

Betts slashed .295/.391/.524 in 2019 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI. Those numbers dipped from his MVP 2018 season where he slashed .346/.438/.640 and played an integral role in Boston’s World Series championship that season. 

Betts is owed $27 million for 2020, then will hit the free agent market that winter. He’s in line for a massive deal. 

The Red Sox also dumped David Price’s hefty deal in this move. Price has three years and $96 million remaining on his contract.

Boston, who was over the luxury tax line prior to the trade, maneuvered under the $208 million threshold with the move.

In return for the superstar Betts, Boston welcomes in a talented young outfielder in Alex Verdugo.

Verdugo is 23 and under contract for 2020 for $563,500. In 2019, he hit .294 with 12 homers and 44 RBI. He sat out the remainder of 2019 after a back injury in early August.

Graterol is a 21-year-old hard-throwing pitching prospect with limited MLB experience. In 9.2 innings with the Twins last season, Graterol posted a 1-1 record with a 4.66 ERA.

Betts Trade: LA’s All-In

The Dodgers are going all-in for 2020. In the wake of the Houston Astros scandal, LA feels cheated out of the 2017 World Series title. Ironically, this deal was made with Boston, who is currently under investigation for possible cheating during their 2018 World Series winning season, a season in which they defeated the Dodgers in the Series. 

Betts joins a potent lineup in Los Angeles that features reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner and Max Muncy. Price will join the starting staff in place of Maeda. 

In a separate move, the Dodgers dealt outfielder Joc Peterson to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo. That move clears up a potential logjam in the outfield after the Betts trade. 

Betts Trade: Twins Make Win-Now Move

The Twins surrendered one of their top pitching prospects to participate in this deal. The upside for Minnesota is they’ve added a quality veteran arm to their starting rotation. 

At 27-years-old, Maeda holds a 47-35 career record over four seasons. He posts a career 3.87 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. 

Maeda is part of the Twins’ revamped rotation. Minnesota’s rotation will include Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, Rich Hill, and Homer Bailey as well.

 

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