MLB Rumors: A Mookie Betts and David Price trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox may be close, with multiple reporters on Twitter indicating that talks are accelerating. Alex Speier says that medicals are being reviewed currently. Per Ken Rosenthal, Alex Verdugo would be the key piece going to the Red Sox in this deal.
Betts is a free agent at the end of 2020 and has shown no inclination towards signing an extension, and so Boston has been rumored to have interest in dealing him all offseason, with rumors the last couple of days indicating that the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres were aggressively pursuing Betts, one of the best players in MLB.
However, part of the appeal of moving Betts has always been to help the BoSox get under the luxury tax line, something that parting with Price, who is owed $96 million over the next 3 years, would help with. The 34 year old lefthanded pitcher is still serviceable but no longer an ace, and while Boston has reportedly been shopping him all offseason, no one was going to bite on him without Boston eating a good portion of the deal.
So, instead, it appears that Boston is attaching him to Betts, and taking a lower return than just Betts would bring, in order to save money. For the Dodgers, who have a deep farm system and relatively little in long-term financial commitments, given their market size, Price is apparently an acceptable price to pay to get Betts.
UPDATE — Ken Rosenthal says that there is a mystery team involved in the deal, making it ultimately a three-team trade. The BoSox are sending cash to the Dodgers, per reports, and Alex Speier says that Boston would get Alex Verdugo and a player from the third team in this deal.
UPDATE II — Michael Duarte says that the Texas Rangers or the Cincinnati Reds could be the third team in this deal. If it is the Rangers, I would wager that they are either getting Jackie Bradley Jr. from Boston or A.J. Pollock from the Dodgers. Either player would solve the gaping hole in center field for Texas.
UPDATE III — Now Ken Rosenthal says that the third team is the Los Angeles Angels, and Joc Pederson would be going to the Angels in this deal. And Bob Nightengale says the third team is the Minnesota Twins. My money is on Rosenthal over Bob, but we shall see...
UPDATE IV — Jeff Passan says that the Twins are the third team in the deal. And Jon Heyman says that the Dodgers are expected to be picking up only half of Price’s salary.
UPDATE V — The deal is apparently Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, with the Red Sox paying approximately half of Price’s salary, Alex Verdugo and Buster Graterol to Boston, and Kenta Maeda to Minnesota. Separately, the Dodgers are trading Joc Pederson — who is a free agent after 2020 — to the Los Angeles Angels for Luis Rengifo.