The circulating rumor that really kicked off the offseason for the Red Sox was that the team would be looking to deal away homegrown all-star, Mookie Betts. According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, that isn’t necessarily the case.
“The Red Sox are not actively shopping Mookie Betts.
According to major league sources, this is the reality when it comes to how Chaim Bloom and Co. are approaching the situation involving their star outfielder this offseason.”
The goal for Boston this offseason has been stated repeatedly. Their wish is to dip below that $208 million luxury tax threshold. One way to do that, or at least get themselves in a better position to, would be to deal away Betts who is projected to pull in something around the $30 million mark in arbitration.
However, there are alternatives to dealing away perhaps one of the best players that have ever come out of your farm system. There too have been other reports through the offseason that Chaim Bloom’s team could be looking to trade veteran left-hander, David Price. Price (34) is owed $32 million in each of the next three seasons and shedding most–if not all–of his salary would be extremely beneficial if their quest to reset the luxury tax penalties is legitimate.
Betts has developed into one of the top players in baseball and according to Bradford, he’s looking to be paid like it.
“It is believed that Betts’ asking price may have been closer to Mike Trout’s 12-year, $426 million deal than the contracts given to Manny Machado (10 years, $300 million) and Bryce Harper (13 years, $330 million), which is why a deal didn’t get done prior to the 2019 season. But the Red Sox still haven’t given up hope that they can keep Betts around past the 2020 season, still weighing incoming proposals from other teams to see if any jump off the page.”
The debate that has been raging on between Boston sports media members and the Red Sox fanbase is whether or not you deal the all-star right fielder and former MVP this offseason knowing that he very well could walk away in free agency following the 2020 season.
It would be difficult to justify trading Betts unless Boston saw a strong return in perhaps a major league ready talent or high-level prospects. They may not be actively searching for a trade partner at the moment, but that doesn’t mean a club couldn’t blow them away with an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Betts’ resume includes three Silver Sluggers, four Gold Gloves, an American League MVP and elections to four All-Star teams.