Mookie Betts, David Price traded to Dodgers
The Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers have restructured the blockbuster trade to send Mookie Betts and David Price out west. Boston will also send money to Los Angeles, paying for half of Price’s remaining $96 million. In exchange for Betts and Price Boston will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo, infielder Jeter Downs, and catcher Connor Wong
The original trade that sent former Minnesota Twins pitcher Brusdar Graterol to Boston was shut down after concerns with Graterol’s health. Nevertheless, Boston and LA worked through the issues to get the new deal finished.
Red Sox Get Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong
Alex Verdugo was the Dodgers’ top-ranked prospect prior to last season. The outfielder was also dubbed one of the best hitting prospects in baseball. He slashed .294/.342/.475 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in his first full season. In addition to his ability at the plate, one of Verdugo’s best skills is his arm strength. While he doesn’t have the speed or the defensive reputation that Betts has, his arm could be a useful tool in a deep Fenway right field.
Jeter Downs was the Dodgers’ third-ranked prospect behind Gavin Lux and Dustin May. Downs was one of the prospects sent from the Cincinnati Reds as a part of the Yasiel Puig trade. The shortstop was a first-round pick in 2017 to the Reds. Between his time spent in high-A and double-A last year he hit .276/.362/.526 with 24 homers and 86 RBI, he also stole 24 bases.
Connor Wong was the Dodgers’ 28th best prospect heading into 2020. The athletic catcher isn’t the most polished prospect by any means but seems to have lots of room to grow. Hitting will improve with a more disciplined approach, and despite his above-average blocking skills, his defensive game could use some work as well.
Dodgers get Betts, Price
As for the Dodgers’ return, Mookie Betts is a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glover, three-time Silver Slugger, and 2018 AL MVP. Betts is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in baseball. During his time in Boston, he slashed .301/.374/.519. He also averaged 28 home runs and 96 RBI per 162 games.
Price is going back to the team that drafted him in 2004 before he opted to go play at Vanderbilt. He is a five-time All-Star and the 2012 Cy Young award winner. As a Boston Red Sox Price had a 3.84 ERA, 1.204 WHIP, and had a 9.3 K/9.
The Red Sox felt they needed to trade Betts to maximize the asset as it seemed increasingly unlikely that the former MVP wouldn’t re-sign in the offseason. Boston will now head into 2020 with a lineup headlined by Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Andrew Benintendi. The offense should still be feared, but the pitching staff remains suspect.
The Dodgers now have perhaps the most feared starting nine in all of baseball. Betts will join 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Lux. Price will also be joining one of the best young pitchers in baseball, Walker Buehler. LA now sits as the favorites to emerge from the National League in 2020.