Mookie Mania: The Red Sox Have Traded Mookie Betts

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In January the Red Sox avoided arbitration with Mookie Betts by settling on a one-year, $27 million dollar contract with the former AL MVP.  The narrative this offseason has been whether or not Betts would take an extension or if the Red Sox would trade him before he becomes a free agent at the end of 2020 season.

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The saga has finally come to an end.  The Red Sox reportedly have traded Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with left-handed starter David Price as part of a three-way deal that also involves the Minnesota Twins.  In return, the Red Sox will receive 23-year old left-handed hitting outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers and 21-year old right-handed pitching prospect Brusdar Gratedol from the Twins.

It is also being reported that the Red Sox will be paying half of the $96 M still owed to David Price over the next three years.
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According to WEEI’s Lou Merloni, the Red Sox offered Betts a 10-year, $300 million dollar contract extension following the 2018 season.  Betts declined that extension offer and made a counter of his own, asking for a 12-year, $420 million dollar contract.  The Red Sox balked and the talks fell through.

The two sides were apart on $120 million dollars.  This was the third reported offer from the Red Sox to Betts that he has turned down over the last two seasons.  Reportedly Betts had turned down a 5-year, $100 million dollar offer in 2016 and a 8-year, $200 million dollar offer after the 2017 season.

Betts is now no longer with the Red Sox and the saga has finally come to an end.  The second-guessing will be rampant over the next few weeks, especially if Betts signs an extension with Dodgers.

There will be fans who are going to be upset with Betts being traded.  They’ve been mad, and rightfully so, while all these rumors have been circulating leading up to today and the trade.

The Red Sox very rarely trade players like this.  Mookie is homegrown talent, he’s won a MVP and a World Series.  Red Sox Nation loved Betts.  He was the face of the team post-David Ortiz.

The sentiment in Boston will be the team was being frugal and cheap with Betts.  That the club is worth billions of dollars - why couldn’t they just get this deal done?  The fact of the matter is there are two sides to every story.  The Red Sox offered Betts significant money to stay and he declined.  Betts countered and the Red Sox declined.

Betts wanted Mike Trout money.  Let’s be fair here - Betts is not Trout.  The Red Sox not wanting to give him $420 is fair, and if the Red Sox feel that Betts is the way to bring significant talent back to the club to strengthen their farm system, then this trade today was the right thing to do.  Red Sox fans need to understand as well, it’s more than likely not the money Betts was commanding in a deal, it was the years.  Twelve years for any player is a long time, and these deals as these players age never favor the team.

In a short period of time, Chaim Bloom has had to make some very important and franchise impact decisions.  He has to replace former manager Alex Cora and he has traded a superstar in Betts.

Betts will undoubtedly go into free agency. In the meantime time, the Red Sox have acquired talent back for Betts.  Bloom and the organization can now focus on hiring a manager and focusing on the 2020 season.



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Mookie Mania: The Red Sox Have Traded Mookie Betts
Mookie Mania: The Red Sox Have Traded Mookie Betts
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