Yes, Mookie Betts is gone and that’s incredibly frustrating, but honestly it was inevitable and there’s no use yelling into the void about it. If you want an angry rant, read someone else’s column.
What matters from here — now that the Red Sox have traded Betts and David Price for about seven peanuts and a couple ice cold beers — is what now?
As we sit, the Red Sox have no manager, no leadoff hitter and are possibly about to get smothered by MLB sanctions. This is likely a lost season anyways, so from that standpoint I understand trading them in order to shore up the future. It’s fairly obvious this team is in a tailspin, and it’s Chaim Bloom’s job to get control of the wheel.
BREAKING: The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox that would send star outfielder Mookie Betts and starter David Price to the Dodgers, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Deal is pending medical reviews.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2020
There are two paths forward: blow it up and go full rebuild, like the team did in 2014, or make small impact moves to create better depth.
At this point I think a full rebuild might just be the best path from here on out. Trade Jackie Bradley Jr. Trade J.D. Martinez. Trade Eduardo Rodriguez. They are all potentially gone after this season or next, so just tear it down. Stockpile assets for the future.
The Texas Rangers need a center fielder and some semblance of an offense, the Red Sox have Bradley and Martinez, figure it out from there. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim need pitching, the Red Sox have Rodriguez, just a thought.
Keep Sale, simply because no one is taking him and his contract at this point. Keep Benintendi if you want. Only Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers should be untouchable at this point. That’s your captain and your cleanup hitter for your next window. Everyone else should be on the block.
Even with the addition of Brusdar Graterol, who seems to either be a shutdown starter or reliever or the next Anderson Espinosa, this team has almost no farm system.
Red Sox new acquisition Brusdar Graterol throws 100 and he’s only 20 years old. This kid will be a stud. pic.twitter.com/vB9Es7fM1E
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) February 5, 2020
Verdugo seems to be a good player, but he has a questionable past character-wise from his time in the minor leagues. He is no Mookie Betts.
As constructed, this team is probably an 81-win team, plus or minus five wins. That being said, they are not winning anything this year. The AL East has the New York Yankees, who are going to be flat-out scary this season, and the rest of the AL has the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Rangers and Angels. All of them should be somewhere around the Wild Card spots.
Go out and raid your competitors of their young assets while they’re focused on winning. The Twins just agreed to send their top pitching prospect to Boston for a decent starter, exploit that. There are teams out there looking for impact pieces.
There are opportunities to make this team into the next Chicago White Sox. Wow, I never thought I would have to say that.
If you are not going to invest in the now, John Henry, you better throw all of your time and money at the future. You can’t sit back and hike ticket prices for fans and turn around and give them 600 at-bats from Marco Hernandez and the like.
The Red Sox have a hoard of attractive pieces they can flip for bluer skies down the road. It’s not the perfect option, but it’s better than hovering around the 80-win mark with no clear direction.
When Red Sox fans think of Mookie Betts, they will think of this at-bat. It was the defining moment of the winningest season in Red Sox history. pic.twitter.com/OZ9VgA4vmI
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) February 5, 2020
Bloom is a smart guy, and I trust he will make solid moves to make the team better. I don’t think that the Betts trade was his favorite option at this point, but it was his best one with the instructions he was given.
The Red Sox have more than enough room to play with at this point. There is no reason why they can’t compete within a few seasons should they make the right moves.
In the last decade, the Red Sox have had multiple horrible, fifth-place seasons between championships. It’s ok to lose as long as you do it with a purpose. As long as your intent is to grow. That wasn’t the motivation for this move, though. This was about money and for a team that essentially has money spilling out of the seats at Fenway Park, that’s fairly reprehensible.
I guess all that’s left to say is good luck in LA, Mookie and Price. I’m sure you’ll love it there. For now, Mookie out.