Alright, so. We have to address the elephant in the clubhouse. Mookie Betts, arguably one of the best players in professional baseball today, has signed a 12-year, $365 million deal to stay in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. First of all, for his talent, he wasn’t paid enough. In comparison, Mike Trout is playing in Anaheim right next door on a 12-year, $430 million contract.
I sense a recurring theme here; teams don’t want to pay him what he’s really worth. A resume of 4 Gold Gloves, an AL MVP award, and 2 Silver Slugger awards should speak volumes loud enough to make the Dodgers front office write down more numbers in their checkbook.
When Money Talks, Everyone Listens
When you break it down, Betts is pretty much making $30 million a year. I don’t know about you, but I would pay just to look at $30 million let alone make that much money. It’s crazy to see the figures these players make, but for the product they put onto the field, it’s a reasonable salary in most cases.
The Boston Red Sox made one of the biggest trade mistakes since Babe Ruth got shipped to New York. Point blank. When the news broke in February that Mookie Betts and David Price were traded to the Dodgers, I was really hoping it was a blockbuster trade for a few star players coming to Boston. However, that wasn’t the case. We got, what I thought was a terrible return in the transaction but it’s honestly too soon to tell what we have.
David Price, as an athlete who’s healthy, can be a big threat when factored into your rotation. When he’s injured or decides it’s too cold outside to throw a bullpen session during practice, you may as well eat that salary for lunch. The Red Sox had the potential to be a force in the American League with the help of Betts, but obviously his salary was in the way of their success.
The New Guys
I have never heard of Alex Verdugo or Jeter Downs until the trade went down. Downs is a decent prospect having been in the Minors the past two years carrying a .458 On Base Percentage, which is what the Red Sox need…unless he can pitch too, then he’d really be useful. Alex Verdugo got buzz during Spring Training when he met his hero, the Mayor of the Red Sox, David Ortiz. Verdugo has only been in the league for about three years actively. His talent is promising, having a .282 batting average over that time and a decent .449 Slugging Percentage.
Pitching is the Sox’s Achilles heel going into the 2020 season, so it would have been helpful to see someone fill in the spot of a departing David Price or even an injured Chris Sale. With Eduardo Rodriguez shut down from baseball for now, our pitching staff is comparable to a Little League World Series team. I just hope all the infielders and outfielders are ready for some action come Opening Day.
Boston You’re My Home?
It’s quite interesting that many players in the same position as Betts. They sing the same song that goes “there’s no place I would rather play than right here in the great city of _____.” When we signed him to the 1-year arbitration deal back in January, yeah January, he was all in on staying and playing in Boston. Then when the Dodgers’ check cleared, he packed his bags faster than a Randy Johnson fastball and headed to Hollywood.
It makes the Red Sox look like the heir apparent to what very well could be the laughingstock of the MLB now that they have a third place team, or an arguable second place club if everyone’s healthy.
Started From the Bottom, Now We’re…Still Here
It’s tough to say when we’re one day into the season but as a Red Sox fan, but I think we lost the highest valued player in baseball to greed and arrogance shown by the front office. I know it, you know and even Mr. Betts knows. It’s bittersweet because I hope we struggle for the mistake we made but I also want the Sox to pull through and put up a first or second place finish. I don’t think it will happen, but if it does, you can refer back to this and tell me I was wrong.
With an absent Mookie and David Price, I’ll venture to say the Sox finish the regular season with a record of 38-22. We have a strong foundation, but a foundation won’t bring us anywhere near the playoffs. But hey, that’s just me.
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