Red Sox Eye Bright Future as Mookie Betts and David Price Traded to Dodgers

Red Sox Eye Bright Future as Mookie Betts and David Price Traded to Dodgers

by February 10, 2020 0 comments

The Boston Red Sox have traded star outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to the Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong.

The twenty-seven-year-old MVP, four-time all-star, and three-time silver slugger award winner is headed to Los Angeles. With reports of Betts turning down a massive contract, a trade for the all-star outfielder was inevitable.

The Red Sox will get shortstop prospect Jeter Downs, catcher prospect Connor Wong, and 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers. Los Angeles will receive Mookie Betts, David Price, and cash considerations from Price’s contract.

The deal will clear the Red Sox of $27M of Betts’ deal and $48M (over 3 years, Boston paying half of $96M in the trade) of Price’s deal which puts the Red Sox with around $80M to spend in the 2021 season and roughly $32M under the luxury tax threshold.

Alex Verdugo 23-year-old outfielder who is a career .282 hitter with 14 home runs in just under 160 games. Verdugo, already making his marks on Fenway park last July, will look to make more very soon.

Prospect Jeter Downs is ranked as the #44 overall prospect according to MLB.com, and the 8th best shortstop prospect in all of baseball. The 21-year-old shortstop, expected to play some second base and even third base in the majors, was named after Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. Downs had time spent in Double-A Tulsa in 2019 where he hit .333 in just 48 at-bats. Downs is expected to get a lot of work at second base and could be seen as Dustin Pedroia’s replacement for a lot of people around the baseball world.

Prospect Connor Wong is ranked as just the 28th best prospect in the Dodgers organization but the 23-year-old slugger seems to be a bit underrated. Wong hit .349 in 149 at-bats in Double-A Tulsa in 2019 with a total of 24 home runs throughout the entire season in High-A and Double-A. Wong could be a solid backup option behind Christian Vazquez in the near future.

Here’s a look at Verdugo, Downs and Wong:

 

Plagued with trade rumors, a coaching turnover, and a new chief of baseball officer, the Red Sox offseason now has more light. Now, the speculations and rumors have ended. With the Red Sox getting a decent haul in return for Betts and Price, Boston can now focus on baseball. As the pitching and bench depth shows to be bleak, the Red Sox will need to embrace the underdog role in 2020.

Boston, a team that has made no secret of wanting to cut payroll to get under the luxury tax threshold, have made their offseason goal a reality with Betts’ contract now with another club. With the sizeable package of both a major-league player and a top minor league prospects headed to Boston for Betts, it’s tough to say that the Red Sox lost out on this deal.

Related: More Possible Roster Moves For the Red Sox as Spring Training Approaches

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has stated on multiple occasions that the Red Sox plan is to compete for a playoff spot, division title, and a world series. The plan to compete in the 2020 season and years to come fell heavily on the decision to either keep or trade Betts. With the MVP outfielder now traded, the plan for the Red Sox does not change. With a top-five offensive lineup, the Red Sox success will depend heavily on the pitching staff. Something that struggled mightily last season.

With Betts headed to the Dodgers, the Red Sox will focus fully on the development of prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong, and the production of major league pieces Alex Verdugo to compete now, and in the near future.

This article was written by Jordan Moore. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @iJordanMoore, Instagram @iJordanMoore, or via email at jordancmoore19@gmail.com.

I cover, write, & talk Boston sports | Good learner for Emerson College journalism | Played ball kinda well for Stevenson University baseball | IG/ Twitter: @iJordanMoore

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