In a shocking turn of events, or maybe not, the Dodgers have finally acquired 2018 American League MVP outfielder Mookie Betts, veteran starting pitcher David Price from the Boston Red Sox in a stunning three team trade also involving the Minnesota Twins that changes the landscape of Major League Baseball. According to reports outfielder Alex Verdugo will be going back to Boston and starting pitcher Kenta Maeda is being dealt to the Twins. The rest of the players involved in the deal are not yet known. In a separate move, Joc Pederson was flipped to the Angels for infield prospect Luis Rengifo. I don’t like Joc being dealt for little return, but that’s a separate topic altogether.
I know what you all are thinking. After the initial surprise wears off, you are probably laughing at me. Maybe some of you are thinking I am stupid. Allow me to retort. I’ll say it over and over….I was wrong. Yes I was wrong. Dodger’s president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has finally acquired an elite player. It only took him five years to do so.
I have no ego to bruise here. As I have said before, I will gladly eat crow if it means the Dodgers pick up a player that helps them get closer to ending a 30+ year championship drought. All I care about is seeing the Dodgers win the World Series and getting a championship in my adult lifetime. I don’t care about looking bad, or being wrong. Yes I was wrong. I’ve been wrong many times in my life and it won’t be the last. Send me hate mail if you wish. Make fun of me in the comments. Laugh at me. I would gladly read a thousand hate mails per day if it meant the Dodgers winning the World Series in 2020. I would read them and delete them with glee. All I care about is the Dodgers winning the World Series. Anything else is secondary.
I tell you this, my respect for Friedman has shot up tenfold. This was an aggressive deal that instantly gives the Dodgers one of the best all-around players in baseball. There is no question that adding Betts makes the Dodgers better. Not only does it make them better, but it significantly improves the odds of the Dodgers winning the World Series.
Betts should slot into right field with Cody Bellinger manning center, or vice versa. A.J. Pollock should get the majority of time in left, if healthy. The Dodgers have plenty of other outfielders to fill the void. Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, Matt Beaty should all see time in the outfield at various points in the season as well. Betts incredible right handed bat helps balance out the Dodger’s lefty heavy lineup. As for Maeda going to the Twins, David Price should slot right into the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler. More than likely the back of the rotation should be taken by the kids, Julio Urias and Dustin May.
There is some concern here. Betts is a free agent at season’s end. Is this deal worth it if Betts leave in free agency? Is the deal for one-year of Betts worth losing Verdguo, Joc, and Maeda? Can Price regain his form and be productive? Price is still a good pitcher, but he’s older, and suffered injuries over the past few seasons.
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox that would send star outfielder Mookie Betts and starter David Price to the Dodgers, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Deal is pending medical reviews.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2020
What this tells me though is that Friedman and the front office are under a lot of pressure to win a championship. After the early playoff exit in 2019, the championship drought hangs over the fan base like a black cloud. Dodger fans are literally frothing at the mouth for a championship and if we don’t get one soon then we may revolt. With the all-star game at Dodger Stadium in 2020, ownership probably felt like they had to do something daring in order to bring home that ring that has long eluded the Dodgers. This is a move that helps do that. Even if Betts leaves after one season. I’ll have more on this later once I have had a chance to digest everything. Spring camps break in about a week. It’s going to be one hell of a season.