The blockbuster three-team deal involving Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts going to the Los Angeles Dodgers, is now a two-team deal, but still the biggest trade in the offseason so far. While the fine points may have changed, one thing hasn’t; by adding Betts to their roster, the Dodgers improved their odds to win the 2020 World Series.
Before the trade, the Dodgers were 6/1 to win the Fall Classic. When the first trade was reported between Boston, Los Angeles and Minnesota, the team moved to 7/2, alongside the New York Yankees as favorites, according to Bovada. When the initial deal fell apart, the Dodgers slipped to 4/1.
While the Dodgers and Yankees are the top two teams to win the World Series, oddsmakers don’t expect them to face each other for the championship. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has two prop bets up regarding the Yankees and Dodgers meeting in the World Series.
The first is either the Yankees or Dodgers winning the World Series versus everyone else. The “yes” to either winning is +105. The “no” is the favorite at -125. The second is whether the two will meet in the World Series. The “yes” is again the underdog at +350. The “no” is at -450.
First Mookie Betts Trade Falls Apart
When the first trade deal was announced last Tuesday, it involved the Red Sox, Dodgers and Minnesota Twins. In that deal, the Dodgers would get Betts and left-handed pitcher David Price from the Red Sox. Boston would get outfielder Alex Verdugo from Los Angeles, and pitcher Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota. The Twins would receive pitcher Kenta Maeda from Los Angeles.
The deal hit a snag when Boston management expressed concern over Graterol’s medical history. The right hander from Venezuela has a history of arm problems, including Tommy John surgery in 2016, and a shoulder injury in 2019. He did, however, average 99 mph in 10 relief appearances for the Twins later in the 2019 season, and was put on the team’s playoff roster.
Boston, though, asked for a different player instead of Graterol, and the Twins refused to provide a suitable replacement. The deal fell apart, and it looked like Betts might stay in Boston.
Second Time’s a Charm
Though the first deal ended in failure, the three organizations worked on trades that would keep everyone satisfied. The moves required a little fiscal gymnastics, and the delay started to frustrate several people.
One of those was Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. He told reporters on Friday that the negotiations adversely affected the players.
“The events of this last week have unfairly put several players’ lives in a state of limbo,” Clark said. “The unethical leaking of medical information, as well as the perversion of the salary arbitration process, serve as continued reminders that too often players are treated as commodities by those running the game.”
By Sunday, however, reports started to leak that two separate trades had been finalized. Betts and Price — and $48 million to cover half of Price’s contract — will go to the Dodgers for Verdugo, infield prospect Jeter Downs, and catching prospect Connor Wong.
In the other deal, the Dodgers now get Graterol, a lower-level prospect, and the 67th pick in this year’s MLB draft for Maeda.
While no one has officially disclosed the trade, Betts replied to a post by former teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. on Instagram.
“Nothing will be the same,” Betts wrote. “Love ya bro! I’ll see you soon.”