The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox could be nearing a trade that would send All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts to the National League club, ESPN reported Thursday.
The report also indicated that left-handed pitcher David Price could be part of a trade package.
Betts, 27, will become a free agent after the 2020 season, and the Red Sox have been unable to engage him in contract negotiations. He will earn $27 million this season, agreed to earlier this month to avoid arbitration.
A report Tuesday on Boston’s WEEI radio said that in 2018, the Red Sox offered Betts a 10-year, $300 million contract extension. Betts reportedly asked for 12 years and $420 million. Since then, however, the Red Sox have indicated their interest in shedding payroll.
After two consecutive World Series losses in 2017 and ’18, the Dodgers could be looking for the final pieces of a championship team. With seven prospects in Baseball America’s top 100, Los Angeles has a deep farm system and could put together an attractive package for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox also have been in talks with the San Diego Padres, according to multiple media reports.
Betts, the 2018 American League MVP, batted .295 with 29 home runs and 90 RBIs over 150 games in 2019 while leading the majors with 135 runs. That came one season after he led the Red Sox to a World Series title by batting .346 with 32 home runs, 80 RBIs and a major-league-high 129 runs.
Betts is a career .301 hitter over six seasons, all with the Red Sox. He has 139 home runs and 470 RBIs, and his play in right field has earned him four consecutive Gold Glove Awards. He also has been named to the AL All-Star team in each of the past four seasons.
Including Price in the deal would help Boston to save money. The 34-year-old veteran has three years and $96 million left on his contract, though the Red Sox potentially could pay a portion of his salary to get the deal done.
Left wrist ailments and an elbow injury have limited Price to 63 starts in the past three seasons after he led the majors in starts in 2016 with 35.
In his four seasons in Boston, Price is 46-24 with a 3.84 in 103 games (98 starts). He started three games in the 2018 World Series, beating the Dodgers twice and posting a 1.98 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.
Price won the 2012 Cy Young Award with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 and is a five-time All-Star. In his 12-year career, which includes stops with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, he is 150-80 with a 3.31 ERA.
–Field Level Media