The roller coaster ride that is the Mookie Betts to the Dodgers trade continues to roll on.
Earlier today, we learned that the Minnesota Twins had pulled out of the trade, but then they didn't. As of right now, I guess they're still in? It went from they're out, to they're still in, to they're still in but they're probably going to be out. Let's operate under the assumption that they're out. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com has some details as to what's going on now that the Twins are out, but not out, but pretty much out.
With the Twins seemingly out of the mix, the Red Sox appear focused on getting a deal done with the Dodgers, a source said. Los Angeles would need to add at least one player to substitute for Graterol, though it’s possible the Dodgers could try taking on a larger portion of Price’s salary in lieu of adding another highly-rated prospect. It’s also possible (though less likely) that the Red Sox and Dodgers could add another team into the trade, creating a new three-team deal.
Should the Red Sox and Dodgers fail to work out a trade, Boston could begin shopping Betts around the league again. Multiple teams have already reached out to the Red Sox since the three-way trade hit its first speed bump, sources said, so while Boston remains committed to working something out with Los Angeles, there are options if a deal is unable to be completed.
The Padres would be the front-runner to land Betts if that scenario were to present itself, though a source said other teams have suggested they would be also interested in Betts and possibly Price.
Okay, so let's hit on the highlights here. The Red Sox and Dodgers still want to get a deal done with or without the Twins. One of the ways that they can get this done is if the Dodgers take on more of David Price's contract. In this current agreement, they're basically taking on half of the $96 million still owed to Price.
While that would be great for the Red Sox to not have to pay as much of Price's contract to pitch for another team, that solution would undoubtedly be met with even more criticism than the original trade. At least with the first version, you were getting a pitching prospect who had a 101mph sinker. Now, you'd be short a flame-throwing prospect and the trade becomes even more of a salary dump than it already was. Not a great look when the Fenway Sports Group is worth $6.6 billion.
Sure, the Dodgers could play the role of the Twins here and throw in a prospect of their own to replace Brusdar Graterol, but that prospect is not going to be a name that appeases the masses. It's not going to be Gavin Lux and it's not going to be Dustin May, the two names that the Red Sox would obviously love to be getting back in this deal. That's just not going to happen. You're better suited to involve another third team in place of the Twins to get a more satisfactory prospect in return.
Is that possible? Well, according to this report, "multiple teams" have reached out once they heard that this deal was shitting the bed. The way that it's written, it just says that teams have reached out. It doesn't specify if they've reached out to become the new third team, or if they'd like to do business without the Dodgers entirely. We already knew that the Padres were very interested in acquiring Betts, but San Diego was never linked to Price. Feinsand reports that other teams would be interested in acquiring Betts and "possibly" Price, too.
As I've said before, if this deal falls through, you still have to trade Betts if you can't sign him. The thing that pisses me off, though, is that the Red Sox can absolutely afford to sign Betts. It's an educated guess that the impasse in contract negotiations has been the years, not the total dollars. Betts wants $420 million over 12 years at an average annual value of $35 million. I'd have absolutely no issue with coming down on the years and bumping up the AAV. In fact, that's one thousand percent what the Red Sox should be doing. Ten years, and somewhere between $380-400 million. Boom, done.
But if that's not what's happening, then yes. You still trade Betts, but the best course of action is to include Price in any deal involving Betts to achieve the most salary relief as possible to reset and hopefully make a run at Betts in free agency after 2020. From what I've heard, we're not going to be dealing with a case of hurt feelings in the scenario where Betts gets dealt. I genuinely believe he'll sign with the team who offers him the most money, and there's no reason why that shouldn't be the Red Sox.
More updates as they come our way.