After almost a week of re-negotiations, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins finalized a trade sending Mookie Betts to LA on February 10, 2020. Even if the MLB doesn’t hold a season, Betts becomes a free agent at the end of this year, regardless of if he plays a game with the Dodgers. Here’s five teams the 2018 American League MVP could sign with:
San Diego Padres
Ever since the emergence of Fernado Tatis Jr. and the signing of Manny Machado, the Padres have been a favorite to sign another big name. They missed out on the Anthony Rendon, Gerrit Cole, and Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes, so they still have the cap space to make a signing work.
Even if they were only serious about trading for him, it wouldn’t make sense to let him sign with division rival San Francisco or LA for a contract they could’ve offered. It wouldn’t be a shock to see them offer Mookie big money and go into playoff contention for next year’s season.
As the presumed favorite to sign Josh Donaldson, it was surprising to see him land in Minnesota, leaving Texas without the desperately needed addition of a big bat. Coming in third place with a decent 78-84 season in 2019 has only proved there needs to be changes in a constantly improving AL West.
Mookie Betts (like he has before) could be the big piece the team needs to compete with Houston and Oakland. The new stadium is extra incentive, since it’ll greatly increase revenue to put towards contracts.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers seem to be intent on keeping their new star for as long as possible. With control of Betts until the end of this season, Los Angeles would hate to give up Alex Verdugo and two prospects without him playing at all.
A massive offer may be on the table to keep him for the better part of this decade, especially if he plays like he did in 2018 (in the event there is some sort of season). If they can’t resign Mookie after this year and there is no season, it would be one of the most bizarre things to ever happen in the league’s rich history.
If any team on this list is poised to be a powerhouse over the next decade, it’s the Braves. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Betts had 5/1 odds to win National League MVP, second to only one person. Ronald Acuña had 4/1 odds to win, best of anyone in the league with the exception of Mike Trout.
Atlanta is easily set up to contend in the future, having locked in all of the young talent on the team. Mookie Betts in Atlanta would by far give them the best outfield in the league, and pitching and infield aren’t problems with the likes of Ozzy Albies and Freddie Freeman at 2B and 1B. Signing with the Braves would make them instant World Series favorites.
Boston Red Sox
Although they just traded him and are still figuring out how to stay under the luxury tax penalty, why not? There have been countless times Mookie has stated he loves Boston and it’s his home no matter what, and he wanted to stay in the city that unconditionally loves him.
From the team’s standpoint, it makes more sense bringing him back for next year than it did keeping him for 2020. With David Price and JD Marntinez’s contracts out of the way, Boston will be able to make a signing work. Even if it’s unlikely, it’s not impossible to picture him back in the city where he won a world championship just two years ago.
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