Dodgers Acquire Mookie Betts, David Price From Red Sox

Michael Duarte pulls back the curtain on the three-team blockbuster

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
February 05, 2020 - 9:38 am
Mookie Betts Red Sox

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The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team blockbuster Tuesday. 

Boston acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo from Los Angeles and pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins, who received starter Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. The Dodgers also sent outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels in exchange for infielder Luis Rengifo.

How did this deal with Boston come about?

“What ultimately got this done was the decision to take on David Price,” NBC Sports L.A. reporter Michael Duarte said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Their first choice was to sign a big free agent. Gerrit Cole was their big fish. They offered eight years, $300 million. As we all know, they got out-bid by the Yankees, who went for nine years and more money. So the Dodgers pivoted. They went for Anthony Rendon, but Rendon didn’t want the quote-unquote Hollywood lifestyle. So he goes up 20 miles into Orange County with the Angels.”

The Dodgers then made a play for Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor but were unsuccessful.

“While those talks [for] Francisco Lindor stalled, the Dodgers pivoted to the Red Sox,” Duarte explained. “At the time, I thought this might have been a leverage decision, ‘Okay, Indians, if you don’t want to do this, then we’ll just go get Mookie Betts from the Red Sox’ – in hopes that maybe the Indians would come back willing to trade Lindor.”

Nope.

“In recent weeks, the Red Sox realized they weren’t going to reach an extension with Mookie Betts,” Duarte said. “They weren’t going to reach his price tag, which is close to what Mike Trout got. We’re talking 12 years, over $400 million. So the Red Sox decided they were going to move on. They re-engage the Dodgers and the Padres for Mookie Betts and wanting to include David Price. The Padres, arguably, had better prospects, but the Padres didn’t have the money to absorb David Price. They didn’t even have the money to absorb Mookie Betts and stay under the luxury-tax threshold. 

“So just in the last couple days, the Red Sox reignited with the Dodgers, and it really came down to that final step, which was can they include David Price,” Duarte continued. “The Dodgers didn’t want to take on David Price without the Red Sox paying cash back. As you see now, [the Red Sox are] going to be paying more than half of this deal, and that enabled the Dodgers to finally pull the trigger on this deal.”