The Mookie Betts trade became official tonight, with both the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers announcing the move. The 2018 AL MVP is heading West.
Red Sox fans are beside themselves watching Betts leave. Without question, the majority of the fan base would have liked to see Boston sign Betts long-term. Instead, he’s with the Dodgers for at least one season before hitting free agency next winter.
Even with Betts and starting pitcher David Price–the other major Boston piece in the deal–on the roster last season, the Red Sox went 84-78 and missed the playoffs. The odds of them taking a step back are decent, and new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom admitted as much tonight. Red Sox fans might cringe reading Bloom’s quotes from Monday’s press conference.
“What Mookie and David are capable of on the field is a lot. I certainly think it’s reasonable to expect that we’re going to be worse without them, but we have real good talent coming back,” Bloom said. “We’ve added talent to the roster this winter and I think it’s important to point out, we felt at the beginning of the winter that this team had a lot more talent than the 84 wins that it put up last year.”
Here’s video of Bloom’s comments, courtesy of WBZ-TV’s David Wade:
— David Wade (@davidwade) February 11, 2020
Of course, after the sobering start to his answer, Bloom tried to remain positive. After all, Boston still has plenty of high-end talent.
Its lineup will be anchored by J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez are still part of the pitching staff.
Still, it is impossible to downplay how big of a loss Betts is. You’re talking about someone who is only 27 years old and one of the five or so best players in baseball.
You can’t replace that.