“Value of Betts and Price for the Dodgers”, Written by Zachary Knecht (Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Baseball season has finally dawned on us and, to kick things off, we bear witness to likely the biggest trade we will see all year. With a three-way trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins, we see a sizable shakeup in the league, mainly the migration of outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price to Los Angeles.
Here are the terms of the blockbuster trade:
– Dodgers get: OF Mookie Betts, P David Price, cash (from Red Sox)
P Brusdar Graterol, OF Luke Raley, 2020 Competitive Round B draft pick (from Twins)
– Red Sox get: OF Alex Verdugo, SS Jeter Downs, C Connor Wong (from Dodgers)
– Twins get: P Kenta Maeda, C Jair Camargo, cash (from Dodgers)
The Dodgers absolutely won this trade, A+, adding former AL MVP and AL Cy Young winners. The Red Sox take the biggest fall in the trade, D, seemingly forfeiting their season before it starts, only two years displaced from a World Series championship. The Twins end up with a B for making strides to compete now while still taking stock in a future prospect.
Let’s cut to the chase though. We aren’t here to talk about the Red Sox or Twins this season. We are here to talk about how much Mookie Betts and David Price are going to impact the Dodgers this season, and honestly, in my opinion, it’s just enough.
The Dodgers are one of the most successful teams in recent history in the league. They’ve won the highly competitive NL West every year since 2013, having a record of 91-71 or better in every single one of those seasons. Unfortunately, through all those seasons, they had not won a championship, losing in the World Series in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, although their 2017 loss looks like more to the fault of sign-stealing than anything else.
Betts has been one of the best hitters in the league over the last few seasons and 2018 AL MVP. He has a career average of .301 and has led the league in runs over the last two years. The 27 year-old is arguably the most dynamic player in all of baseball and can propel any team he’s placed on.
Price is a reliable pitcher at this point of his career, still showing bursts of excellence, but not as “unhittable” as he used to be. This past season was the first in which he had an ERA over 4.00(4.28) since his 2009 season (4.42). The 2012 AL Cy Young winner is in the latter half of his career, but moves to the NL for the first time in his career, which is a slightly easier league to pitch in. The 34 year-old still has gas in the tank and can be a source of veteran leadership for this historic franchise.
So, what difference will Betts and Price make? I think they will give the Dodgers that final push they need to hit that next level, to exorcise their playoff demons and win it all. They bring veteran leadership and a lot of talent to the table. While the Dodgers are successful because of the talent they already have and their culture, Betts and Price put them over the top. They may have lost players like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda, but they made enough improvements to feel like NL favorites this season. In fact, according to Vegas Insider, they are the NL favorites and tied for league favorites (3/1 odds) with the New York Yankees to win the World Series, and, now learning of the sign-stealing scandal of the Houston Astros, I believe they will come out with a fire and vengeance unmatched by any other team in the league.
That’s my prediction for the 2020 MLB season: The Dodgers will be the ones at the end of this season calling themselves World Series champions thanks to the acquisitions of Betts and Price.
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