As has been the case for too many October contests since Kirk Gibson homered off Dennis Eckersley, the Dodgers couldn’t seem to win the big ones this winter. They reportedly offered Gerrit Cole $300 million (with deferrals), but were outbid by the Yankees. They expressed interest in Anthony Rendon, but never offered him a contract, and were unwilling to go to a fourth year for Josh Donaldson. Hell, they were even outspent by the Blue Jays — who had spent less than all but four other teams in free agency over the past 14 years — for the services of Hyun-Jin Ryu. They were said to be focused on trades, with a Francisco Lindor/Mike Clevinger package offering one tantalizing possibility. On Tuesday, they finally broke through with a blockbuster, acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox as part of a three-team, five-player deal that also included the Twins.
- RF Mookie Betts (from Red Sox)
- LHP David Price (from Red Sox)
- Cash Considerations (from Red Sox)
Red Sox Receive:
- RHP Kenta Maeda (from Dodgers)
Separately, the Dodgers cleared even more space in their outfield by trading Joc Pederson to the Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo, with other players possibly involved. Dan Szymborski will break down that deal on Wednesday.
Though he’ll quite possibly only be around for one year before testing free agency, the 27-year-old Betts fortifies an already robust lineup that led the NL in scoring (5.47 runs per game) and wRC+ (111) in 2019 while powering the Dodgers to a franchise-record 106 wins. The 2018 AL MVP will play alongside reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger in a lineup that now boasts three of the majors’ 25 most valuable players by WAR from the past year (Max Muncy being the third); all three of those players rank among the top 11 hitters by wRC+ over the past two seasons. The Dodgers’ path to an eighth consecutive NL West title just became even easier, but this is about increasing their odds of getting back to the World Series, which they did in both 2017 and ’18, and finally winning one for the first time since 1988. Read the rest of this entry »