Late last week, it appeared that the Boston Red Sox had successfully completed a three-team trade to send Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Red Sox would be receiving outfielder Alex Verdugo and Minnesota Twins pitcher Brusdar Graterol. The deal seemed to be in place, but after receiving the medicals for both players, the Red Sox got cold feet when realizing Graterol projected to be more of a reliever than starting pitcher.
Now, to the naked eye, a young 20-something-year-old that can throw 101 MPH and weighs close to 300 pounds should raise some red flags, but in typical Red Sox fashion, don't ask questions and let the baseball guys be baseball guys (right?). Fast forward a few days, and it appears the Red Sox are getting cold feet. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox are looking to restructure the deal to either include more prospects, eat more of Price's horrific contract, or tear it all up and start over again.
In recent days, the Red Sox were hoping to renegotiate the deal, asking for another top 10 prospect from the Twins in addition to Graterol. In the past 24 hours, I think it is fair to say the entire baseball world really has no idea what is going on. It was first being reported that the Twins were completely out of the trade, leaving the Red Sox and Dodgers to figure things out for themselves. However, recent reports suggested that the Twins are not officially out, but will more than likely bow out of negotiations quickly unless the original deal is accepted.
What does this mean for the Red Sox, Dodgers, and the fate of Betts? Could he end up in a Red Sox uniform come opening day?
Well, not so fast.
If the trade somehow falls through and the rest of the baseball world does not jump on the opportunity to trade for Betts, I believe the idea that not only himself, but Price, hop on a flight to Fort Meyers and report to Spring Training like nothing happened is absolutely ridiculous. The Red Sox made it abundantly clear their future plans do not include Betts, so it is up to Chaim Bloom, who is losing my trust by the second, to pick up the pieces and maximize the return that he gets from this trade, whether it be with the Dodgers or another team.
At this point, it is kind of sad that four World Series victories are almost completely overshadowed by the mess that is Red Sox ownership. Whether it be dumping Terry Francona in horrific fashion, signing Bobby Valentine, Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, or David Price (shall I go on?) to massive, underperforming contracts, or committing then quickly firing Alex Cora, I think it is safe to say that the Red Sox are in shambles.
How can one of the most lucrative and successful professional teams in North American sports be so inept?
Again, this is just my opinion, but I believe it starts at the top. After their second World Series championship, I think it became pretty clear that John Henry and company shifted their attention from their baseball team to, lets just say, other ventures. Winning and strategy became less of a priority, as the Red Sox would throw massive amounts of money at sexy names, hoping they could solve their problems quickly.
That brings us to the Betts trade. How can ownership let one of their best homegrown talents leave simply because they do not want to pay him? Whether you think Betts is overrated (I tend to lean this way) or not, if a player can be argued as the second best in the game, they deserve to never hit free agency. Now, I fully recognize that Betts has always stated he wants to hit the open market. However, if reports are true and he offered the Red Sox a deal to lock him up long term, whether it be realistic or not, then it was at least showing he was ready to play ball. Rather than negotiate, the Red Sox balked and decided just to trade him. How?
As I sit here, I am realizing that this ownership group, and this team in general, need a reality shock. Maybe a 100-loss season or an ownership change is exactly what the doctor ordered. All I know is what the Red Sox are doing now is not working. Their mindset and philosophy are alienating fans and it is quickly becoming apparent that perhaps those World Series trophies are more so from deep pockets rather than knowing what they are doing.
By Peter Packowski