The Dodgers and Red Sox have “engaged in exploratory trade talks” regarding Mookie Betts, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. According to Nightengale, the Dodgers are still focused on landing Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians but if that deal doesn’t pan out, Betts is squarely their radar.
If you follow the money, Betts’ $27-30 million due to him next season, before he becomes a free agent, is a number that Boston wouldn’t mind dropping to help them get under the $208 million tax threshold in 2020.
Betts is in elite company as both an offensive and defensive player, with only Mike Trout leading him in WAR since 2015. Any trade would need to include top win-now players. The Dodgers are reluctant to part with their shortstop of the future, Gavin Lux, but have included Corey Seager in trade talks according to Nightengale.
If the Dodgers could land Betts, pairing him with Cody Bellinger, they would also be more inclined to let outfielders Alex Verdugo or Joc Pederson. Of course, this is likely more “exploratory” than anything else, but shows that the Red Sox might be willing to deal the 2018 MVP.