Will Red Sox trade Mookie Betts?

Tyler Murray
Contributing Writer

With Dave Dombrowski out, the future of the Red Sox faces uncertainty.

Dombrowski elected to keep mostly the same roster from 2018 and has gotten less than desired results. This resulted in his firing before the 2019 season even ended.
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Now reports are surfacing that Dombrowski did not see eye to eye with ownership. With no extension in place, Dombrowski would've been a lame duck in an upcoming offseason that will define the direction of the franchise.

2020 is the last year of team control for Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts. Having already had an extension offer rejected, the Red Sox may be running out of time to extend Betts.

Things look even more ominous, as there is speculation ownership wants to lower payroll and may let J.D. Martinez walk if he opts out AND let Mookie Betts walk (if he's not traded).

J.D. Martinez holds an opt out after the 2019 season, but he also holds opt outs following the 2020 and 2021 seasons. His contract is front loaded, meaning he can earn $23.75MM in 2020, but that figure drops to $19.35MM in 2021 and 2022. It's not hard to imagine Martinez opting in for 2020 to avoid the suppressed free agent market while his contract is still in the front loaded portion.

So, if the Red Sox plan to cut salary, it may be their best player who is on his way out. They *should* offer Betts, a generational talent, a mega extension that surpasses the value of Bryce Harper's $330MM.

If the Red Sox truly want to cut payroll, it's tough to think they offer a mega contract to Betts. Additionally, Betts remains adamant that he wants to test free agency, stating, "Nothing is going to change."

So, the Red Sox have two choices from there. The first is play out the 2020 season with Betts, and risk losing him in the following offseason for a middling fourth round pick. The second choice is to trade him, and trading him in the winter would net more value than trading him next trade deadline.

The Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres have emerged plenty of times as teams who would make sense for Betts. More teams that make sense are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Minnesota Twins, among others.

Trade ideas have long already been made
. The Red Sox initial asking price should be astronomical, even if they are shut down. That means they should request young studs to headline packages, such as Cristian Pache from the Braves, or Luis Urias (an MLB ready middle infielder that could fill the void at 2b) from the Padres.

For a player whose overall production has only trailed Mike Trout's since 2016, the Red Sox should not settle in their potential return for Mookie Betts.

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