As the 2019 postseason wrapped up, the rumor was that the Boston Red Sox would be looking to unload star right fielder, Mookie Betts. However, that tune seems to have changed as Chaim Bloom now says that the team will be looking to hold onto Betts for “as long as possible”.
Bloom told Channel 5’s Duke Castiglione in a recent interview, “This guy is one of the best players in the game. I got to appreciate him way too much as an opponent. It’s never a comfortable feeling (as an opponent) whenever he’s in the action and what makes him so great is just how multifaceted his skills are. Not only is he one of the best hitters in the game, he’s one of the best outfielders in the game. Great guy, as well.
He’s everything you’d want in a player. I know this organization has felt for a long time and I came in here feeling the same way: we want him here as long as possible.”
And with recent reports, it appears that the Red Sox will only entertain a deal for Betts if the price is really something they’d struggle to turn down.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, if a team were to acquire Betts, they’d also need to take on left-handed veteran starter, David Price, and the entirety of the $96 million remaining on his deal over the next three seasons. In addition, they’d be looking for two high-end prospects in return.
This is a request proving the Bloom and the Red Sox are reluctant to deal off Betts just simply to relieve themselves of payroll.
Due to comments made early in the offseason, the belief was that the front office’s goal–but not a mandate–was to get themselves below the $208 million luxury tax threshold to reset their luxury tax penalties.
If a team were to take on both Betts and Price in 2020, they’d be inheriting $59 million onto their payroll, making this type of a deal seem unlikely.