Right now, various anonymous sources confirm to Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the talking stage of a trade involving Mookie Betts among others.
You can read the entire column here, and the highlights will be pared down below in this post.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 17, 2019
First, the skinny.
The Dodgers’ top priority remains Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, but if the two sides can’t agree on a package for the All-Star, the Dodgers could turn its attention to Boston.
The Red Sox are much more inclined to trade Betts – who’s projected to earn $27-30 million in his final year before free agency – than Cleveland is with Lindor. The Red Sox, who had baseball’s highest payroll at $244 million, and will pay $13 million in luxury tax penalties, want to slash their payroll to be under the $208 million tax threshold in 2020.
And sure enough – I knew they would do so – the Dodgers have and are dangling Corey Seager.
Los Angeles has included shortstop Corey Seager in trade talks with Boston and Cleveland, but are much more reluctant to part with prized prospect Gavin Lux, their shortstop of the future. Potential trade partners also covet Dodgers catcher Will Smith, who impressed as a rookie in 2019, hitting 15 homers with 42 RBI in 54 games.
This sucks, but was to be expected. It’s been a long, long time since the Dodgers have seen elite Seager; at least since 2017. Right now, his stock may be higher around the league that it is internally in the Dodgers’ organization. Because of this, you will see Seager dangled a little bit. If it can help the Dodgers yield an elite player they consider a sure thing in return, they will do it. Otherwise, Seager will be back manning his position for Los Angeles in 2020.