It's been a long time since the Boston Red Sox traded a player as talented as Mookie Betts in the prime of his career.
Betts is arguably the second-best player in Major League Baseball. In just six seasons, he's won a World Series, an American League MVP award, four Gold Glove awards, three Silver Slugger awards and an AL batting title. But with free agency looming for the 27-year-old centerfielder, the Red Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night as part of a three-team deal that also included the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox have traded away some really good players in their 119-year history, but few have been more accomplished than Betts at the time of their departure. A comparable situation would be when the Red Sox traded center fielder Fred Lynn to the California Angels in 1981.
Another similar scenario was the sale of Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees. In fact, some of the similarities between Betts and Ruth toward the end of their careers in Boston are pretty interesting, as BostonSportsInf pointed out on Twitter.
Other similarities— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) February 5, 2020
2018 Red Sox won World Series
1918 Red Sox won World Series
Last season with Red Sox
2019 - Mookie Betts - 29 HR's
1919 - Babe Ruth - 29 HR's
Here's another stat that shows how impactful Betts and Ruth were for the Red Sox.
Crazy coincidences or the start of a new decades-long curse during which the Red Sox reach the World Series a few times only to come up short in the most painful way possible?
In all seriousness, it's very likely the former.
The Yankees capitalized on their trade for Ruth and won four World Series titles during his time in New York. We all know how the Red Sox fared over that span and for the years following Ruth's departure. The Dodgers probably would be content if they won just one championship with Betts, and the National League club might only get one shot because he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season. Los Angeles hasn't won the World Series since 1988, although it came pretty close in 2017 and 2018.