The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a trade that will send Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple media reports.
The Red Sox will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo back from Los Angeles, part of a package of players that has yet to be fully announced.
Betts Joins Formidable Dodgers Lineup
The three-team deal also sends Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins, while Minnesota pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol moves to Boston. All players must clear medical reviews before the pending deal will be officially announced.
Los Angeles already stood as one of the leading contenders to win the World Series in 2020, but the addition of Betts and Price has turned the Dodgers into the top choice at many sportsbooks.
William Hill initially opened Los Angeles as a +600 third choice to win the World Series. Now, the bookmaker lists the Dodgers at +350, ahead of the New York Yankees (+400) and Houston Astros (+500). The Dodgers now possess one of the best lineups in baseball, with Betts joining a roster that already includes Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy among other heavy hitters.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox continue to see their odds lengthen during a tumultuous offseason. Initially a +1400 choice to win the World Series in the upcoming season, William Hill has dropped them to +4000 to win the title, the same odds as fringe contenders like the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.
At PointsBet, the Red Sox win total has been reduced to 85.5 after opening the offseason at 94.5, while the Dodgers have gone from 98.5 up to a lofty 102.5.
Betts won the 2018 MVP award while playing for the Red Sox. He compiled another excellent season in 2019, hitting .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI while leading the league in runs scored with 135.
Red Sox Slash Both Payroll and World Series Hopes
The Red Sox have considered moving Betts all throughout the offseason. The 27-year-old Betts will make $27 million in 2020, and will then have the opportunity to pursue free agency. That lead Boston to explore trading him in an effort to reduce the team’s salary below the $208 million luxury tax limit.
Dumping Price also contributes to that effort. The 33-year-old pitcher went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in just 22 starts last year, while still having three years and $96 million remaining on his contract.
The Red Sox also fired manager Alex Cora last month for his role in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. Cora served as the bench coach for the 2017 Astros as they carried out that scheme, and the 2018 Red Sox are under investigation for a similar sign-stealing effort.
In Verdugo, Boston gains a young outfield prospect who has already shown some success at the major league level. Verdugo, 23, hit .294 with 12 home runs in a partial season for the Dodgers last year. He missed out on the final two months of the season due to a back injury.