All reports indicate that Mookie Betts could be traded very soon and the San Diego Padres are still firmly in the mix for the talented outfielder.
Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (subscription required) is reporting that a trade could happen in the next couple of days.
He does say that talks between both the Padres and Los Angles Dodgers have reached an “advanced stage.”
The feeling from most media members over the past couple of weeks has been that Betts will almost certainly get traded before the season, and it makes sense that the Red Sox move him before Spring Training.
If you’re wondering why Boston is so eager to trade a top five player in the game, there are several reasons.
One is that they already tried to re-sign him and those talks didn’t go very far. Betts will almost certainly test free agency after the season and could demand upwards of $350 million.
Second, there is a good chance they’re about to get hammered from Major League Baseball for stealing signs electronically, much like the Astros were.
But don’t forget, Boston had already been warned in 2017 and then got caught stealing signs electronically again in 2018, so MLB may be even harsher on them once their investigation is complete.
It seems pretty certain they are going to lose future draft picks and possibly international money, so they could be looking to build up the farm system now or even trade for compensation picks (which the Padres have).
And last, Boston doesn’t want to pay the luxury tax and needs to shed some payroll. Getting rid of the $27 million that Mookie is owed in 2020 will certainly help make that happen.
In their talks with the Dodgers there is the possibility they could trade away David Price and some of the $96 million he’s owed over the next three years.
As I wrote the other day, a trade for Betts to the Padres has always seemed unlikely. I’ve never understood how that deal made sense for the Red Sox if they’re taking on Myers.
And really, getting rid of Myers is a huge part of that deal for the Padres. In fact, there is likely no way they can trade for Betts without trading Myers and most of his money.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers can take on Betts’ money — and apparently Price’s as well — and just give Boston a couple of prospects. It’s much easier and makes a lot more sense for Boston.
I’m not trying to get anyone’s hopes up, the Padres are clearly still in the picture here for a reason.
But I would think if San Diego has any chance of getting this deal done they’ll either have to part with one of their top four prospects or give Boston multiple prospects ranked 5-15 in the Padres’ system.
Luckily, we could finally have a conclusion to this drama in the coming week. Here’s to hoping A.J. Preller pulls off a miracle and brings Mookie to San Diego while also getting rid of at least some of Myers’ contract.