Okay, everyone calm down. Just hear me out before you decide to attack me. Mookie Betts is currently one of, if not the best player in the league. The time could not be more perfect for Mookie, whose contract year is quickly approaching.
The Red Sox superstar will be due for massive raise, which could be a contract worth over $30 million per year. This is not ideal for the Red Sox, who already possess three players making over $20 million per year on their payroll. If push comes to shove, it may not be the worst option to trade Mookie Betts for a massive haul. A perfect landing spot for Mookie may be the Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves are 21st in overall payroll this year due to their cheap young stars, and their only established All-Star is Freddie Freeman. Their loaded farm system would be ideal for a possible Mookie Betts trade. The trade scenario that would be perfect for both teams is:
Red Sox trade: Mookie Betts and Rick Porcello
Braves trade: Mike Foltynewicz, Ozzie Albies, and a top prospect
By trading Porcello alongside Mookie, the Red Sox would free up the third largest contract on the roster ($21.1 million) in preparation for either extensions for Foltynewicz and Albies, or another large FA splurge by Dave Dombrowski.
The Atlanta Braves Benefit: The Braves have stunned the league this year by winning with their young and talented roster, but adding the presence of a top five player in the league and a solid veteran pitcher could be what this team needs to get over the hump and make a run for the pennant. Porcello would also help compensate for the loss of Foltynewicz. Losing a player like Albies would also hurt, but thanks to their plethora of middle infielders, he will be well worth it for Mookie Betts.
The Boston Red Sox Benefit: The Red Sox will be a playoff team this year no matter what, but with several big contracts approaching, it is time to prepare and start moving to the younger players. Trading Mookie Betts creates an obvious gap in their stellar outfield, but J.D. Martinez can easily fill that role until a guy like Cole Sturgeon or Danny Mars joins the team much like Benintendi and Devers did. The drop off would be obvious, but developing the next starting RF early would be great in the long run. Albies would be an ideal replacement for the aging Dustin Pedroia. As far as the pitching is concerned, the Porcello for Folty swap would make perfect sense in terms of both talent and money.
So once again, please don’t hurt me or my family. This was purely hypothetical in the event that Mookie Betts refuses to negotiate and/or the Red Sox aren’t willing to budge on his contract demands. The trade makes sense from both perspectives and aides both teams not only now, but down the line.
Have any thoughts or trade ideas of your own? Tweet them to me @Conor_S_ letting me know other possibilities you want to see explored. And remember to head on over to https://wtpsports.myshopify.com and use code “stevens” for 20% off your order!
Photo: NBC Sports Boston