The Red Sox are about to enter a mini-rebuild as they are poised to trade last year’s American League MVP, Mookie Betts, and also allow JD Martinez to walk in free agency this winter.
Boston owner John Henry has made it clear that the Sox need to get under the luxury tax for 2020, and whomever takes over as the team’s new general manager must rebuild the team’s ugly farm system quickly.
The easiest way to do so would be to trade Betts, who would command other teams’ top prospects.
At the same time, Betts is being viewed around MLB as nothing more than a rental – as he wants to test the waters of free agency a year from now. Here is what The Athletic’s Peter Gammons wrote about Betts’ situation this past summer:
“Is Mookie Betts signable before becoming a free agent? The [Red Sox] have been scouring other systems in case. ‘If Mookie wants to stay in Boston, we’ll pay him,’ says one Sox official. ‘We want him to be the face of the franchise. But it’s hard to know. He’s rejected our outreach in the past. We have to know if he’s open to signing a year before he hits free agency at the end of next season.”
There will, of course, be plenty of teams in pursuit of Betts if the Sox see no hope in re-signing him – and the teams that make the most sense in a swap for the 27-year-old are as follows (in order): the Phillies, the Mets and the Braves.
Legal online sportsbooks are dishing out millions of dollars to new users as they try to lure people away from off-shore betting sites. You can get a free $50 VISA gift card as well as up to $250 in free deposit match bonus money right now at MetroBet.us/Sugar by entering promo code: METROBET
Phillies boss Matt Klentak has one more shot to make Philadelphia an elite club this winter, and nabbing the biggest fish on the trade market would certainly do the trick. The Phillies are firmly in win-now mode and they possess prospects that the Boston front office covets – such as shortstop Bryson Stott, pitcher Spencer Howard and pitcher Adonis Medina.
Financially, trading for Betts wouldn’t be that big of a burden for the Phillies considering he will likely walk after next season and Philadelphia will be paying the tax regardless. It will simply be a matter of whether or not Klentak believes Betts is a player that could put the Phils over the top.
The Mets are another team that will be looking to make a splash this off-season as Gm Brodie Van Wageen told The Athletic’s Tim Britton earlier this month that the team is not going to be looking at shipping out Noah Syndergaard or Edwin Diaz. That indicates that Van Wageen views the Mets as on the fringe of being a top contender.
Inserting Betts into a lineup that already features Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto would instantly give New York one of the top offenses in the National League.
Finally, the Braves may come calling if indeed Betts is on the block. Atlanta has a boatload of young arms to offer up in a deal and could certainly use a right fielder. Betts is already said to be looking at Atlanta as a destination when he hits free agency as he grew up in nearby Tennessee.