The Red Sox have traded right fielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Five-time All-Star pitcher David Price is also headed to Los Angeles. The Red Sox are expected to send the Dodgers significant cash as Price is owed $96 million over the next three years. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Chad Jennings, a third team is reportedly involved in the deal.
Betts’ name has circulated around the rumor mill all winter, with the Dodgers and Padres emerging as the top two candidates to land the All-Star outfielder.
The 27-year-old Betts will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season and the Red Sox had yet to sign their star outfielder to a long-term deal. The two sides agreed to a record-setting $27 million deal in early January to avoid arbitration.
As rumors of the Padres heated up, the Dodgers remained in trade discussions and were in a better financial position than San Diego to take on Betts’ salary. Los Angeles also has a deep farm system filled with high-level prospects to trade.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in January that the Padres were “willing to send two young major leaguers and at least one prospect” to Boston with outfielder Wil Myers in exchange for Betts.
However, the two clubs were struggling over salary negotiations. In order for the Friars to take on Betts’ $27 million salary for a one-year rental, they reportedly wanted the Red Sox to “come up significantly in the portion of Myers’ contract they are willing to pay.”
Betts spent the first six seasons of his career with the Red Sox after they drafted him in 2011. The four-time All-Star finished last season hitting .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI. He was named American League MVP in 2018 after leading MLB with a .346 batting average and 129 runs.
Price finished with his worst career ERA (4.28) in 2019, going just 7-5 in 22 starts.