Report: Red Sox and Padres Talking Betts/Myers Swap

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The Red Sox and the Padres have discussed a potential Mookie Betts trade, according to Dennis Lin of The Athletic.  The rumors have been swirling all offseason regarding Betts due to him becoming a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.  In addition, with Betts now earning $27 million this upcoming season, he is potentially the best trade chip the Red Sox have even with the little control a team will have if they acquire the former AL MVP. 

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According to The Athletic, the Betts trade talks also feature Padres OF Wil Myers and prospects for Betts.  Lin states in the piece, recent talks between the two parties have “focused on sending a significant amount of prospect talent” and Myers to Boston. 

The Padres have been trying to move Myers all offseason due to the $60 million he is guaranteed over the next three seasons. 

The Padres general manager AJ Preller has been trying to make a big move this offseason,  The club has been connected to the Indians and SS Francisco Lindor.  But according to Lin and the San Diego Union-Tribune, they think a Betts-Myers/prospects deal seems unlikely.  The only notable free-agent signing the Padres made this offseason was signing former Red Sox LHP Drew Pomeranz.


The report says the package of players the Padres would send to the Red Sox would not include any of the Friars top five minor leaguers.  Sources say that isn’t a major hang up on any potential Betts trade. 

Betts, 27, who will test free agency after the 2020 season, could command a $400 million dollar contract as a free agent.  Betts hit .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs in 150 games last year.  He led the AL in runs scored for the second straight season.

Adding Betts to a lineup that already includes Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. would be lethal for the Padres.  The Padres finished 13th among 15 NL teams in runs scored last season.  Betts would surely improve that lineup and give the Padres a formidable three through five in the batting order. 

From a Red Sox perspective, the main driver in this deal is not Myers, but the prospect haul they would get in return from the Padres.  If the club takes on the Myers contract, they would essentially be buying some of the Padres best prospects in their system. 

Myers who hit .239 last season with 18 home runs and 53 RBI for the Padres. In his five seasons with San Diego, he has hit .249 with 95 home runs, 289 RBI and .328 OBP, .447 SLG % and .775 OPS. Those numbers are a dramatic drop off from Betts and the production he brings to the Red Sox lineup. 

Myers would only account for $13 million against the luxury tax threshold.  This could be a selling point for the Red Sox if they are looking to acquire Myers from the Padres.  In addition, there is a connection between Chaim Bloom and Myers.  Bloom was with the Rays organization when the club traded for Myers from the Royals organization back in 2012.  Myers would go on to win the AL Rookie of the Year in 2013 for the Rays. 

If the Red Sox acquire Myers they are not looking for him to replace Betts in the lineup.  While the Sox lineup would be dramatically weaker than if you kept Betts, the club still has Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez to anchor the core of the lineup. 

The focus for me in any deal involving Betts is what prospects would the Red Sox get back in the deal from the Padres.  I want Mackenzie Gore from the Padres in a Betts deal, but that is highly unlikely.  Gore, a 6’-3" lefty, is an absolute stud and has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter.  
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Here’s a small snippet of what Baseball America had to say about Gore - “Gore’s athleticism, four-pitch mix and plus control should land him in the front of the Padres’ rotation.” 

Other prospects who presumably will be off the table might include SS CJ Abrams and RHP Luis Patiño.  Both of those prospects are in the top 25 of Baseball America’s MLB Top 100 prospects. 

Patiño projects to impact the Padres roster in 2021.  “His swing-and-miss arsenal, as well as his feel to fill up the strike zone, make it likely that he gets a shot to pitch in San Diego at the end of this coming season,” according to Baseball America. 

The players that seem available in a Betts deal could be OF Taylor Trammell, C Luis Campusano and LHP Adrian Morejon.  All three of these players are ranked within the top 100 of the Baseball America prospects list.

The Red Sox attempting to add multiple prospects in a Betts deal can help offset any draft pick penalty from MLB in the alleged sign stealing scandal from 2018.  The Red Sox could look to purge one of the game’s best farm systems in a effort to build their system and begin to build to the future while remaining competitive now.

A change of scenery could benefit Myers if he were to go to Boston.  Myers can help play a role for a club looking to get back to baseball and into the playoffs.  He also doesn’t have to be the main guy in Boston, which should help him acclimate to the the city.  The draw back is he would be the major leaguer coming back to Boston in a Betts trade, and from a fans perspective expectations will be high no matter the role Myers will play. 

No matter what happens in a potential trade, the fact the Red Sox will trade Betts at some point in 2020 remains a real possibility.  Whether that be now or at the deadline, the Red Sox are better suited to try an acquire as much as they can for Betts if he truly intends to hit the open market.  When a player hits the open market, it’s less likely he returns to his former team.

If the Red Sox trade Betts, it will change the landscape of baseball in the Boston area, because the Red Sox don’t trade superstars due to money, they sign and or trade for these players.  Times are changing here in Boston, it will be interesting to see how Bloom runs this team's baseball operations after any Betts potential trades.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Report: Red Sox and Padres Talking Betts/Myers Swap
Report: Red Sox and Padres Talking Betts/Myers Swap
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