It’s been a pretty uneventful offseason for the Dodgers through February 1. They struck out on the biggest names in the free-agent market, and the biggest splash they made was bringing back Alex Wood.
By no means have they had a “bad” winter. In fact, I think the additions they made to the team are pretty good. However, they haven’t made the splash that fans have been craving.
Now is their chance.
All offseason. the Dodgers and Mookie Betts have been linked to one another. Betts has one year left on his contract before he hits free-agency, and it is unlikely the Red Sox bring him back for the long-term. As Boston desperately tries to get under the luxury-tax, a trade makes too much sense for them.
Rumors have picked up in recent days, with both Ken Rosenthal and Andy McCullough reporting LA and Boston have been in contact. There’s no question both sides have mutual interest in completing a deal.
The only question is, at what cost?
Here are four potential trade packages that could put the 2018 A.L. MVP in Los Angeles.
Trade package No. 1
Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts
Red Sox receive: Alex Verdugo, Keibert Ruiz, Mitchell White
For the most part, I think we can expect Verdugo to be involved in whatever trade happens. He’s young, he’s a really good outfielder, and he has a very affordable and cheap contract for the next few years. If the Red Sox aren’t getting Gavin Lux or Dustin May in a package, I would think Verdugo would be their No. 1 asking price.
The Red Sox also get one of the best catching prospects in the game with Ruiz, who has a chance to crack the big-league roster in 2020.
Trade package No. 2
Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts
Red Sox receive: Joc Pederson, Keibert Ruiz, Tony Gonsolin, D.J. Peters
If the Dodgers decide to throw Tony Gonsolin into the mix and add another prospect, it may give them the chance to hold onto Verdugo. Gonsolin showed he has big-league stuff now, and would be a great addition to either Boston’s starting rotation or their bullpen.
Though Pederson is older than Verdugo, and only has one year remaining on his contract, he can fit nicely in Boston. He’s an experienced big-leaguer, who can immediately help the Sox in 2020. There’s no injury concern with him, so they’d be getting a guy who can give them 150 games. He’ll probably hit 30 homers, and be a great addition to their lineup. Plus, if Boston really wants to shed salary, he’s off the books in a year and you can clear even more space moving forward.
Trade package No. 3
Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts, David Price (all his contract)
Red Sox receive: Joc Pederson, Keibert Ruiz, Edwin Uceta, Jacob Amaya
Now is when we begin to take David Price into account. There’s been different rumors that say he’d be included in a deal, and there’s rumors that have said the Dodgers don’t want to take on any of his contract.
He’s owed just under $100 million, and it’s unclear as to if LA would be willing to take on all that money, even if it means acquiring Betts. But, for the sake of this article, let’s say they do.
I still think LA would send a big-league outfielder, but I couldn’t see it being Verdugo. You’d still probably have to part with Ruiz, or a prospect around the 3-6 range, but it shouldn’t cost any more of the top-tier guys. Or, let’s switch things up, and say Verdugo is included as opposed to Pederson. If that’s the case, take Ruiz out, and maybe add a Jeter Downs, or a prospect around that range.
They’d be saving the Red Sox nearly $130 million. It shouldn’t deplete the Dodgers’ farm system too much for that kind of a deal.
Trade package No. 4
Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts, David Price (more than half his contract)
Red Sox receive: Alex Verdugo, Keibert Ruiz, Edwin Rios, Mitchell White, Michael Grove
What I think could be the most likely option, and that’s the Dodgers taking on most of Price’s contract. He’s owed nearly $100 million for crying out loud, I just can’t see the Dodgers being okay with taking on the entire thing.
If the Red Sox bite, and chip in a good amount, it could help them land a better player or two, hence why Verdugo would be included. The Dodgers would be parting with a stud young outfielder and one of their higher prospects in Ruiz, but the rest of the haul would include prospects in the 10-20’s range.
These are hypothetical trade scenarios. If a trade goes down, the Dodgers could be sending more than what I talked about, or it could be less. There’s a reason trade talks have slowed down, and I wouldn’t be shocked if both teams are constantly changing the price. Teams view prospects differently, much differently.
It’s difficult when discussing a trade of this magnitude, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Overall, I think a trade happens. The deal makes too much sense for both sides. Boston sheds a ton of salary, and can pick up some solid minor-league and big-league talent. LA adds a top-three player to their lineup, and gets a starting pitcher who can fill in nicely as a No. 4 or No. 5 option.
At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see.
What trade package would you rather see the Dodgers do?
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