The Mookie Betts trade rumors are heating up, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres reportedly interested in acquiring the Boston Red Sox outfielder.
Betts will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season, and so far, he and the Red Sox haven't been able to work out a contract extension. The Red Sox cannot afford to let him walk in free agency and get nothing of value in return, and that means a trade should seriously be considered.
What does Red Sox legend David Ortiz think about Betts' situation?
“Here’s the thing, though, my boy Mookie is at the stage of his career where he has to get what he deserves," Ortiz told NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry on Thursday at the Super Bowl in Miami. "The Red Sox, we have a very high payroll, and I don’t think our owner wants to go past that. Signing Mookie, it definitely would put that payroll way over. I don’t think the Red Sox are ready for that. You don’t want to get rid of a guy like him because Mookie’s got to be, right now, the most exciting player to watch, in the whole MLB. That’s my boy, that’s like a little brother to me."
Ortiz understands as well as anyone that baseball is a business, and with Betts entering the final year of his contract, the Red Sox will do what they feel is best for the organization.
“I could talk to you about Mookie forever, but the reality is, business-wise, this is going to be his last year (under contract)," Ortiz said. "And you know the game that teams love playing with a guy like him — I trade him, I will get young talent, you will get whatever you want with Mookie. Unfortunately, that’s the baseball business.”
Betts has played his entire six-year career in Boston. He's won three Silver Slugger awards, four Gold Glove awards, the 2018 American League MVP award and earned four All-Star selections over that span. He's one of the best players in baseball, but the Red Sox must also be smart about how they handle the situation and not jeopardize their future.