A confluence of events could see a reunion with Mookie Betts and the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox made it their end goal to trade Mookie Betts this offseason in an attempt to cut costs. Little did we know, they were ahead of the curve.
The Sox acquired Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs, both of whom now ranked among their top prospects, for at least one year of Betts from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Betts, who was expected to command a long-term deal that would rival all but Mike Trout next offseason, is expected to heavily consider the Dodgers for that mega-contract.
But in the middle of a global pandemic which has already seen MLB teams struggling financially, could Boston be in play to convince Betts to return if the Dodgers can’t meet his price?
How can the Boston Red Sox bring back Mookie Betts?
In short, it depends on the field. If the likes of the Dodgers and other yearly big spenders cannot match Betts’ asking price, creating a virtual stalemate, then Boston’s chances increase immensely. Betts’ feelings about playing in Boston as a whole, of course, cannot be measured at this time. Especially on the heels of Torii Hunter saying racist fans prevented him from signing with the Red Sox as a free agent and Kevin Youkilis addressing the racism he witnessed at Fenway Park.
Boston’s owner, John Henry, is also in the ownership group for Liverpool F.C., which is an important footnote because he’s still making a significant income on the side. There are very few American sports owners who dabble overseas, with Henry and Sten Kroenke, who owns Arsenal, as an example. Should Henry go against his recent trend and actually use that money on improving the roster, Betts is the most obvious upgrade they could make.
The Red Sox opted to build for the future by trading away arguably the second-best outfielder in all of baseball in his prime. He was a fan favorite and a product of their own farm system.
Those same financial restraints that Henry and Ben Cherington hid behind while making this puzzling move in the first place could actually put them at an advantage, especially as teams struggle to keep baseball operations workers employed in the long-term.
It’s still a long-shot, but for now, at least Sox fans can dream about a Better reunion.