BOSTON (AP) Banking on Mookie Betts to be the missing piece in their World Series pursuit, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally pulled off a blockbluster deal with the cost-cutting Red Sox.
Boston agreed to trade the 2018 AL MVP to the Dodgers on Tuesday night, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, packaging Betts with left-hander David Price in a salary dump designed to save the Red Sox tens of millions of dollars and help them dip below baseball’s luxury tax threshold.
The Dodgers, eager for a World Series title after losing in the 2017 and ’18 Fall Classics, are sending outfielder Alex Verdugo back to the Red Sox. The deal also involves the Minnesota Twins, who are getting right-hander Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers and sending pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston. Los Angeles will also get cash from Boston to offset some of the $123 million owed to Betts and Price, but the exact amount was not yet known.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade, pending the exchange of medical information, had not been announced.
Betts, who will earn $27 million this season, has spurned nine-figure offers from the Red Sox for a long-term deal and expressed eagerness to test the free agent market. Boston decided to move him now — a century after selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees — rather than let the four-time All-Star walk after the 2020 season.
One of baseball’s best all-around talents, the popular Betts should fit nicely into a Dodgers lineup that also includes reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger. Los Angeles has won seven straight NL West titles but hasn’t celebrated a World Series championship since 1988. They fell in 2018 against Betts and the Red Sox, a year after being defeated by the Houston Astros in seven games.
Price is due $96 million over the final three years of a $217 million, seven-year deal he signed before the 2016 season. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner missed time last year with a wrist issue and went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 22 starts.
The Dodgers finally pulled off the kind of splashy offseason deal that has eluded them in recent years. They lost out on two primary offseason pursuits when pitcher Gerrit Cole signed with the New York Yankees for $324 million over nine years and third baseman Anthony Rendon signed a $245 million, seven-year contract with the rival Angels.
Until now, the Dodgers’ top addition this winter was reliever Blake Treinen.
Adding Betts’ bat to a lineup that includes Bellinger, Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Corey Seager makes the Dodgers even more fearsome. Their offense led the National League with 886 runs and 279 home runs last year.
The entire story can be found at: https://apnews.com/39a2fa9f296e674d0ae9a6d750bb7ae4