Baseball’s hot stove reached a boiling point just days before pitchers and catchers report for the unofficial start to the new season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to acquire one of the game’s brightest stars, Mookie Betts, and former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a stunning three-team blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The deal is pending medical reviews.
According to sources cited in Passan’s report, 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo will be the main piece heading to Boston from the Dodgers, along with Twins’ pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol.
The Dodgers are reportedly sending right-handed starting pitcher Kenta Maeda to the Twins in the deal.
Here are the full details of the three-team trade:
OF Mookie Betts (from BOS)
P David Price (from BOS)
Cash (from BOS)
RED SOX RECEIVE:
OF Alex Verdugo (from LAD)
P Brusdar Graterol (from MIN)
P Kenta Maeda (from LAD)
The 27-year-old Betts is a bonified superstar, making the American League All-Star team four times, winning four gold gloves and taking home the AL batting title, MVP and a World Series championship in a banner 2018 season.
Betts has one-year remaining on his contract before he hits the free-agent market next winter. Last season’s major league-leading run-scorer (135 runs) will make $27 million this year.
Shedding the contract of Betts and half of Price’s $96 million owed over the next three seasons will help the Red Sox get beneath the $208 million luxury-tax threshold.
Acquisition of Betts Makes Dodgers World Series Favorites
The addition of Betts and Price make last year’s National League win-leading Dodgers the formidable threat to win this year’s World Series.
Los Angeles adds Betts’ dynamic talents to one of baseball’s most potent lineups that features the 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Gavin Lux and Corey Seager.
Betts is one of the premier defenders in the game and will now join Bellinger and A.J. Pollock to form arguably the league’s best defensive outfield.
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman believes that the Dodgers will try and keep Betts longterm. Heyman tweeted, “Talks may not start immediately but they hope this isn’t a one-year thing.”
The Dodgers will also feature a lethal top of the line rotation, with the five-time All-Star Price joining forces with Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.
In an additional trade Tuesday night, the Dodgers sent outfielder Joc Pederson to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The Dodgers are coming off a 106-56 season where they lost in the National League Divisional Series to the eventual champion Washington Nationals. They won the National League pennant in 2017 and 2018 but fell to the Houston Astros (’17) and Boston Red Sox (’18) in the World Series.
Dodger fans are hoping that the blockbuster acquisition of Betts and Price will finally get them over the hump and deliver their first World Series title since 1988.