The Boston Red Sox are more likely than ever to trade All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts before spring training begins. Now it appears the Los Angeles Dodgers might be closing in as the team Betts will be traded to.
According to Peter Gammons, multiple National League executives believe it’s inevitable that Boston trades Betts to the Dodgers. Additionally, it’s believed that a deal will center on outfielder Alex Verdugo, infield prospect Jeter Downs and a low-level pitching prospect.
The Dodgers have been discussing a potential Betts’ trade for more than a month with the Red Sox. While Boston is looking to shed payroll, Los Angeles wants to add a big bat to its lineup after missing on the top free-agent talent during the winter.
Betts, who is owed $27 million next season in the final year of his deal is coming off another fantastic season with the Red Sox. He won his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award and his third Silver Slugger Award after hitting 29 homers with a .915 OPS this past season.
Verdugo would likely be the centerpiece of a potential deal and give the Red Sox an immediate replacement for Betts. The 23-year-old ranked as a top-35 prospect in MLB in 2018 and hit 12 homers with a .817 OPS across 343 at-bats with the Dodgers last year.
Downs, who Los Angeles acquired last offseason, was recently ranked as the No. 44 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com. The 21-year-old profiles well at second base and Boston could view him as its replacement for Dustin Pedroia.
The San Diego Padres are also pursuing a trade for Betts. However, San Diego’s desire to send back Wil Myers’ contract could be a hurdle in a potential trade.