For as much as the national rumors have focused on what might be close to happening between the Padres and Red Sox on the Mookie Betts front, the Dodgers have remained involved in those talks. The LA behemoth has done nothing major this offseason after missing on Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, and it’s felt like they might be lying in wait for a major trade.
That could mean re-engaging the Cubs on Kris Bryant, or it could mean they swoop in and eat the Padres’ lunch:
The Dodgers remain engaged with the Red Sox about a trade involving Mookie Betts, according to sources.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) January 30, 2020
The Dodgers and Red Sox are still talking, and the most compelling lines in the piece: “The team appeared content to report to Camelback Ranch next month with their roster relatively unchanged from last season. In recent days, though, dialogue with Boston has approached a resolution on Betts.”
In other words, this stuff is coming to head, spurred on perhaps not only by the advent of Spring Training, but also by pressure from the Padres. There’s only one Mookie to go around, and if you don’t get him, perhaps your division rival will.
Of course, that also means there’s plenty of opportunity for gamesmanship, as either the Dodgers or Padres could simply be looking to drive the price up on the other, but you don’t really get that sense here. As McCullough notes, the Dodgers could also be looking to take on David Price (at a greatly reduced price), because they could use another arm in the rotation. This feels less like puffing and more like smoke.
Bryant comes in for no mention in the piece – a piece out of Los Angeles, by a great writer, who goes through a number of other trade talks – which is notable. Ken Rosenthal has largely been the driver of rumors connecting the Cubs and Dodgers on Bryant, but you haven’t seen it coming out of L.A.
That is to say, even if the Dodgers wind up with Betts, I don’t know that you could look at it as a lost suitor for the Cubs (especially since Gavin Lux and Dustin May are apparently off-limits – without either of those two involved, any trade with the Dodgers looks less compelling).
Whatever happens, it’s all still worth following regardless of any impact on the Bryant trade market. Betts to an NL West club is compelling stuff for the coming playoff races, as well as Betts’ post-2020 free agency. Can you even imagine Betts as a part of that Dodgers lineup? Good Lord.
UPDATE: More seriousness:
Hearing Dodgers remain strongly in mix for Mookie. 1. They have great prospects. 2. Unlike SD they are a clear WS contender. 3. Baseball prez Andrew Friedman worked with new Red Sox GM Bloom 10 plus yrs in Tampa. 4. AF also knows David Price from Tampa. 5. Again, great prospects.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 30, 2020