All Star batter Mookie Betts’ blockbuster move from the Boston Red Sox to Los Angeles Dodgers is now official. It was confirmed by both teams on Monday. So too was the fact that All Star pitcher David Price is making the same switch alongside him.
Betts and Price are headed for Boston in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. An additional cash payment is believed to be part of the deal.
“In trading a great player, a beloved player, we recognise how incredibly difficult this is for our fans. They fully understand just how special Mookie is,” Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry said in a statement Monday.
“The organisation in its entirety very much wanted to see Mookie in a Red Sox uniform for the length of his career. However, we believe in this decision as we are responsible and accountable for both the present and the future of Red Sox. We thank Mookie for his incredible contributions, both on and off the field.
Price paved the way for an historic Red Sox chapter
“David’s arrival in Boston paved the way for an historic chapter for the Red Sox. His presence at the top of our (pitching) rotation was critical to winning three consecutive division championships. His 2018 postseason performance put both his talent and tenacity on full display.
“We appreciate what both Mookie and David brought to our club, and are grateful that they will forever be Red Sox World Series champions.”
Henry and the Red Sox are not saying so, but it is understood that recent circumstances have forced their hand.
The club had just endured a turbulent offseason following the departure of manager Alex Cora amid allegations of sign stealing. It has been reported that it had an urgent need to reduce its wage bill.
This would not have been possible without trading Betts and Price; Betts, especially. He is one of the world’s most valuable baseball players right now. He had not yet signed a new contract and may well have cost the Red Sox more to stay, not less.
Betts is a huge capture for Boston
For Boston Dodgers who failed to defend their national title in 2019, it’s a very different story.
Betts, a 34-year-old right fielder, is a hug capture. He’s a four-time All-Star, a four-time Golden Glove Award winner and a three-time Silver Slugger.
In 2018 he became the first player in Major League Baseball history to win all these awards and the World Series in the same season.
And he’s lost none of his go-for-it drive and talent. In this past season he tallied 29 home runs, 135 runs in total and made 176 hits after 597 at-bats. His RBI last season was 80.
Price, 34, a World Series champion and 2012 AL CY Young Award winner, is older with less longevity. But he too is a pretty valuable acquisition. He posted 128 strikeouts and had a 4.28 ERA for the Red Sox in 2019.
Betts and Price could take Boston back to the top
If any two men in baseball can take an already powerful club and give it its first World Series championship since 1988, it’s Betts and Price.
Right now New Jersey sportsbook William Hill sees the Dodgers winning the both the upcoming National League and the World Series.
William Hill’s odds on them winning the World Series were +350 on Tuesday. Their second favourites in this race were the New York Yankees at +400 with the Houston Astros third at +500.
888sport, on the other hand, still saw the Yankees as their favourites at +350 with the Dodgers their No 2 at +400 and Astros their No 3 at +600.