After nearly a week of consternation, the Mookie Betts trade is officially official, as both the Red Sox and Dodgers announced the trade on Monday evening. In case you missed it, the Dodgers got Betts along with David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong.
As we’ve mentioned here many times, the Red Sox have been laser-focused on trimming payroll to get under the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold. The Dodgers are covering about half of Betts’ and Price’s remaining salaries — roughly $48 million. That gets the Red Sox under $190 million as it pertains to the CBT. The Red Sox were in the penalty for each of the past two seasons and didn’t want to make it three.
The Red Sox brass addressed the trade, using the typical language to justify the trade. Per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said that the club would have pursued a Betts trade even if they were only $5 million above the CBT. Which, if you’re a Red Sox fan, has to be incredibly inspiring. Brings a tear to your eye, really.
Principal owner John Henry said, “While the organization in its entirety very much wanted to see Mookie in a Red Sox uniform for the length of his career, we believe in this decision as we are responsible and accountable for both the present and the future of the Red Sox.”
Along with the draft, the Red Sox will gamble on some prospects they received in the deal, hoping one of those players turns into a player as good as Mookie Betts. The circle of life.