FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Red Sox's long nightmare is finally over.
Six days after the first news breach of a Mookie Betts trade with the Dodgers – with a period in between that was marked by fan setbacks and original deal reports that fell apart due to medical reviews – a revised version finally became official on Monday night. The Red Sox gave Betts, their local star who has become one of the best players in baseball, David Price and cash considerations to the Dodgers for young outfield player Alex Verdugo and the prospects Jeter Downs, an infielder, and Connor Wong, a catcher.
"We knew it was going to hurt and it will hurt for a while," said chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom on Monday night at Fenway South, less than 48 hours before the first spring pitcher and catcher training. “As difficult as it was and as difficult as it is now, we felt that despite this, it was a big step forward when this trade positioned us in terms of the big picture and our long-term future. That was something we do had. "
The Red Sox entered the off-season in hopes of hitting the luxury tax threshold after hitting baseball's highest salary last season at an estimated $ 242 million per Fangraph. Betts, a pending free agent, should earn $ 27 million this season, while Price has three years and $ 96 million left on his contract. The Red Sox are reportedly paying half of the remaining prize money, but trading will allow them to reset their luxury tax to allow more flexibility in the future.
Despite the wage surge that had sent her best players to Los Angeles, Bloom insisted that the organization remains convinced that it can keep up in 2020.
"We think it's realistic," said Bloom, who was retired by the Rays in October. "Now look what Mookie and David can do on the field is a lot. I think it is reasonable to expect us to get worse without them. But we have really good talent, we've added talent this winter, and I think it's important to point out – we felt at the beginning of winter that this team had a lot more talent than the 84 wins it put in the past Year. We still believe that there is a lot of talent here to measure up. "
The first repetition of the trade, which became known when an agreement was reached last week, included the Red Sox taking the hard-throwing pitcher Brusdar Graterol from the Twins as part of a three-team trade. However, after a medical review, the Red Sox reportedly viewed Graterol as a relief rather than a starter pitcher, leading to the revised deal that subtracted Graterol and added Downs and Wong.
Verdugo is expected to replace Betts in the right field, while Downs, a top 100 prospect, could be the second baseman of the future in Boston. For the fans in Boston, who won four of the last 16 World Series with their team, this is not a great comfort.
"The overall picture and how it fits our chances of winning over the next few years had to be a priority," said Bloom. "You can't be afraid to do something that you think is broadly true."