By: Jack Zinman (Sports Editor)
A sad day for Red Sox fans has come, the long discussed trade of now former Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, has been made official.
After nearly a week of fallouts and negotiations the deal has finally been completed, centered around the star right fielder.
Emotions are running through Red Sox nation right now as junior Elliot Pototsky says he is currently feeling sad but long term the deal will work out for Boston. “The Red Sox knew they weren’t going to be able to resign Betts next offseason but it’s gonna be weird seeing him in another uniform.”
Betts, 27, has been shipped off to the Los Angeles Dodgers in addition to David Price. The Red Sox get Alex Verdugo in return, a star prospect who will replace Betts as well as prospects Jeter Downs (SS), and Connor Wong (C).
The Minnesota Twins participated in the blockbuster trade as they sent Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers and will receive Kenta Maeda from LA.
All Mookie has done for the Red Sox was participate in 794 games in six MLB seasons, hit 139 homeruns, 470 RBI’s, have a .893 OPS and a total .301 AVG.
Since getting the call up to the big leagues, Betts has been a prolific talent.
Betts has had four All-Star selections, three silver slugger awards, four gold gloves, an MVP and played a massive part in bringing yet another championship to the city of Boston in 2018.
So why did the Red Sox trade Betts? To avoid the luxury tax, something the Red Sox have been desperately avoiding for years. Dombrowski set that standard during his tenure in Beantown and now Chaim Bloom is continuing it.
Senior Kyle Sullivan said he’s upset about the Red Sox continuing to be cheap. “It really makes me mad how the Red Sox traded away a once in a generation talent for a bunch of prospects that could be good.”
Mookie signed a record one year 27 million dollar arbitration avoiding deal earlier in this offseason. After declining a 10 year 300 million dollar deal, Betts asked for a 12 year 420 million dollar deal, a contract Bloom was quick to reject.
With salaries like J.D. Martinez (109.5m), Chris Sale (145m) and Xander Bogaerts (109.95m), the Red Sox simply didn’t have the money to give the superstar the money he wants without going over the luxury tax.
So the Red Sox have made their young core even younger going from 27 year old Mookie Betts to 23 year old Alex Verdugo.
Junior Daniel Fishman says that he likes how the Red Sox are building a “younger” core. “The Red Sox are only getting younger so that’s a positive at least,” Fishman said.
Alex Verdugo appeared in 109 games last season for LA playing all three outfield positions. He hit 12 home runs and 44 RBI’s before suffering a season ending lower back injury in August.
Pototsky adds that Verdugo is a can’t miss prospect. “He’s exciting. His swing is beautiful and his ability to field has the potential to be better than Mookie.”
Jeter Downs, named after Yankee Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, is now a Boston Red Sox. Downs lit up A and AA last season, hitting 24 home runs and batting in 89 runs.
Fishman adds that Downs could be a possible second basemen could give help to Michael Chavis, who battled injuries his rookie year. “With Chavis being injury prone, Downs could make the transition to second and help us with depth.”
Connor Wong is another prospect that the Sox snagged in the deal. Wong has similar stats to Downs in A and AA as he hit 24 home runs and 82 RBI’s.
Sullivan adds that Wong could be a backup to Christian Vazquez. “After losing Sandy Leon which honestly isn’t a big deal, Wong has great potential to have a promising career,” Sullivan concluded.