While the momentum for a trade involving Mookie Betts picks up, it could come down to two teams in the NL West in the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s now looking more-and-more likely that the Boston Red Sox will trade Mookie Betts before the season starts, and the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be the most likely landing spots.
Jon Heyman, who I trust very little when it comes to rumors, states that the Red Sox “seem more serious than ever about a Mookie Betts deal.” And mentions the Dodgers and Padres as possible suitors.
But despite my misgivings with Heyman, it does appear that the two teams are front runners to land Betts if he is traded this offseason.
A more reliable source from the Boston Globe (subscription required) notes that the Dodgers and Padres are in the mix.
With the Arizona Diamondbacks recently trading for Starling Marte and making a push in 2020, a potential deal for Betts to the Padres or Dodgers could go a long way to shaking up the NL West race.
If the Dodgers land him then they become even heavier favorites to win the division. But if San Diego somehow pulls it off, then perhaps we have a three-team race going into the 2020 season.
But here is what Padres fans don’t want to hear, if the Dodgers want Betts they’ll get him, and they have a much easier path to doing so.
If LA wakes up and decides that Betts is the piece they need to win a World Series, then they can offer the Red Sox a couple of top prospects and take on all of Betts’ contract for 2020 with no problem.
That’s probably what the Red Sox would rather do as well.
On the other hand, for the Padres to pull off this deal they need to give up a top prospect or two and hope Boston takes on some salary in return.
To be honest, I’ve never really understood how this deal made sense for a Boston team that is trying to shed payroll. Why would they take on money when they’re trying to get rid of money?
The Padres would have to eat enough of Myers’ contract to keep Boston under the luxury tax in 2020, and they’d have to entice them with a high enough prospect to take on even part of Myers’ money for the next three seasons.
That’s why I’ve always viewed this deal as a very long shot. And at any moment the Dodgers could swoop in and just do a straight up deal for Betts.
So far Los Angeles has been stingy with their prospects, though. Let’s hope that remains the case.
Of course, there could be other teams involved with Betts. But if he is dealt to an NL West team, it could go a long way in determining the fate of the division in 2020.