Mookie Betts Trade Decision Reportedly Coming Very Soon (UPDATE: Trade Expected)

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Mookie Betts Trade Decision Reportedly Coming Very Soon (UPDATE: Trade Expected)

Chicago Cubs

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said that the trade market would still be active into February, and whether that proves true about his own team remains to be seen. But it might be true for one of the other big trade chips on the market.

Players are reporting to Spring Training next week, so it makes sense that a line in the sand is coming for the Red Sox and Mookie Betts.

The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox’s trade talks with the Dodgers and Padres has reached a sufficiently advanced stage that sources expect a decision could come in the next few days (as of last night, so today? tomorrow? Wednesday?). The Red Sox haven’t yet requested “best and final” offers, but it sounds like they know enough about what the Padres or Dodgers would be willing to do in order to make a decision to trade their superstar outfielder, or keep him until the Trade Deadline.

The return for Betts is necessarily going to complicated by the financial elements of the deal. He makes $27 million this season, and the Red Sox also would like to part with some or all of David Price’s contract ($96 million remaining) in a Betts deal. But then you’ve got the Padres wanting to include Wil Myers in a deal, which adds another layer of complication. However this shakes out, you’re going to have to consider the full picture before evaluating what the Red Sox were able (or unable) to get in return for Betts.

The sense out of Boston in everything you read is that a trade is inevitable. Peter Gammons took it a step further and got really specific:

If there were no financial considerations there, that’s not at all a bad return for a single year of Betts at $27 million. Betts is a superstar, to be sure, but there’s only so much value there in a single year at 60-70% of market price.

Stay tuned for an NL-shaking trade in the next couple days, I guess?

In many ways, the Red Sox’s decision on Betts mirrors the Cubs’ own with Kris Bryant, though he is under control for an additional season following last week’s arbitrator decision on his service time grievance. Perhaps a Betts trade will precede the loser in those talks taking an aggressive swing at Bryant (or perhaps the Cubs are engaged with those two teams, plus others, and once Betts is moved, that brings the whole discussion with the other teams to a head because now all bidders are in (hey, where have we heard that stuff before?)).

The Cubs, in my view, need to know whether they are or are not making a trade on Bryant within a week.

If it’s not happening, everyone needs full buy-in to the idea that he’s here, he’s awesome, and he could be an important part of the Cubs competing this year. If it’s not happening at the Trade Deadline, fine, consider moving him then. But if he’s here right now, then he’s here. Trade another piece to ensure you can be under the luxury tax without moving Bryant so that the issue is off the table for the first few months of the season. Everyone, in that case, for that time period, could just focus on winning.

UPDATE: From Jon Heyman, folks really do expect a trade to happen:



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.