The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reports that the Red Sox and Padres have discussed a trade involving outfielder Mookie Betts. In any such trade, prospects and outfielder Wil Myers would go to the Red Sox. Lin cautions that a deal isn’t likely at this point, but both sides do seem to have interest.
Betts, 27, is a four-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner who won the 2018 AL MVP Award. He finished last season batting .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI, 135 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases across 706 plate appearances.
The Red Sox are currently about $18 million above the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold. It is well-known they seek to get under the threshold for the first time since 2017. Trading Betts, who is owed $27 million and can become a free agent after the season, would seem to be the easiest way to achieve that goal.
The Padres have what many consider to be baseball’s best minor league system. They can certainly afford to acquire a player of Betts’ caliber. The debate is whether or not they should give up so much for a rental. Whether it’s the Padres or another team, we should be hearing many more trade rumors involving Betts in the coming months.