The Red Sox are close to trading star outfielder Mookie Betts, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who said on Monday’s installment of MLB Network’s Hot Stove that, “This is going to happen, Mookie Betts is getting traded. The only question is when and where.”
The Dodgers and Padres appear to be the favorites to land the 27-year-old Betts, who will make $27 million this upcoming season before becoming a free agent for the first time next winter.
Per Rosenthal, Los Angeles has “the ability to do this a little bit cleaner” since San Diego would be looking to include outfielder Wil Myers, who is owed $61 million over the next three years, in any trade.
Any deal involving the Dodgers would most likely be headlined by 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo and 21-year-old infield prospect Jeter Downs coming back to Boston.
Of course, any return the Red Sox get could depend on whether or not David Price is packaged with Betts in any potential trade.
Price, 34, is set to make $96 million over the final three years of the seven-year, $217 million deal he signed with the Sox back in December 2015. If he were dealt, Boston would probably be responsible for a majority of that $96 million.
Bundling Betts and Price in the same deal could help the Red Sox reach their goal of getting under the $208 million luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season, but it could also hinder the compensation for giving up an elite talent like Betts.
On Sunday, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweeted that he spoke to three different National League executives who said that Betts going to the Dodgers is “inevitable” at this point, with Verdugo, Downs, and a pitching prospect going to the Red Sox.