Mookie Says Goodbye to Boston

Tess Bower, writer

Mookie Betts is arguably the best Red Sox player since Pedro Martinez, but will he be staying with the Red Sox next season? The answer is a heartbreaking no. Betts will be a free agent after the 2020 MLB Season and is seeking a 12 year $420 million contract. That would be $35 million a year. For a four-time Gold Glove award winner and a three-time Silver Slugger award winner, the asking price is not completely absurd. The Red Sox, not willing to pay that amount, set up a trade deal with the LA Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers would get Betts (and teammate David Price), the Twins would get Kenta Maeda, and the Red Sox would receive Alex Verdugo and Brustar Graterol. Once word of this trade reached the public, Red Sox fans were dismayed. Twitter fans launched at the Sox, some comparing the Betts trade to the detrimental Babe Ruth trade of 1920. One fan said:

“This is outrageous. It’s like the Babe Ruth trade, except that Betts is *already* one of the best players in the game.” [email protected]

Players involved in Mookie deal

A few days later, rumors started circulating that the Twins were pulling out of the deal, potentially preventing the Red Sox from trading Betts. Also, a medical review of Graterol given to the Red Sox left them with second thoughts. The Dodgers and Red Sox made a separate deal, leaving out the Minnesota Twins and injury-prone Graterol. The final trade deal says this:

Red Sox will receive: Alex Verdugo (OF), Jeter Downs (SS), and Connor Wong (C)

The Dodgers will receive: Mookie Betts (OF) and David Price (P), along with money from the Sox

The Twins and Dodgers created a two-way deal, with the Dodgers getting Brustar Graterol, Luke Raley, and the 67th draft pick. The Twins will get Kenta Maeda and money from the Dodgers. 

Looking back 100 years ago, when former Red Sox owner Harry Frazee traded Babe Ruth and started the “Curse of the Bambino” that poisoned Boston for 86 years, Ruth went on to have arguably the best professional baseball career of anyone that’s played the game. Will Betts do the same? He is already one of the top players in the game and is only 27 years old. Betts has many years left to play and could go on to earn many more awards, but not with Boston. So as Sox fans grieve, we can all wonder what will happen, will the Red Sox be trapped in another curse, or will their three new players step up and lead them to another championship? With Spring training right around the corner, fans will not have to wait long until the season is up and running.

The famous Babe Ruth and Mookie Betts