One team has apparently taken the lead in trade talks, but these five teams should absolutely enter the mix to make a deal for Mookie Betts.
As the Boston Red Sox consider what to do with outfielder Mookie Betts, who is set to become a free agent after the coming season, trade possibilities have surfaced. The San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers have become the top two rumored suitors, but unless the Padres are ready to up the ante from what’s been reported the Dodgers may be negotiating against themselves right now.
The Dodgers remain engaged with the Red Sox on Betts, and Boston may want to attach pitcher David Price to the deal. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox “see the benefit” of trading Betts before spring training. As the calendar flips to February, that may make Boston something of a motivated seller.
The Dodgers are uniquely positioned to make a deal for Betts, with a top-tier farm system and young talent that’s major league-ready or close to it to possibly deal from. They are also able and willing to take on salary, and Betts will not come cheap this year making $27 million in his final year of team control.
But the Dodgers should not be standing alone as the only serious suitor for Betts. These five teams should consider entering the mix to get the 2018 AL MVP right now.
5. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels would probably be loath to deal from a farm system that has gotten better but is still hardly richly deep with talent, and if Boston may start by asking for top prospect outfielder Jo Adell in any talks about Betts.
But the Angels simply can’t waste any more of Mike Trout’s best years. Even possibly as a one-year rental, Betts and Trout in the same outfield would be exciting. And let’s not forget the addition of third baseman Anthony Rendon in free agency and Shohei Ohtani returning to the mound this year.
The Angels should be looking to add another starting pitcher, above anything. But if there’s been any internal conversation about adding more to the lineup, a trade offer for Betts feels possible with an eye on making a shape-shifting move in the AL West. The Houston Astros look a little vulnerable in the wake of a sign-stealing scandal, so now might be the time for the Angels to strike.