Mookie Betts is officially a Dodger. It’s done done. For real this time.
The Dodgers announced they acquired the superstar outfielder, left-handed pitcher David Price and cash from the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Alex Verdugo and two prospects — shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong.
The Red Sox are sending the Dodgers half of the $96 million remaining on Price’s contract over the next three seasons, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The announcement comes a day after the clubs agreed to a second variation of a trade that would ship Betts and Price to Los Angeles.
The Dodgers acquired OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for OF Alex Verdugo, minor league IF Jeter Downs and minor league C Connor Wong.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 11, 2020
The first version, a three-team agreement involving the Minnesota Twins, leaked last Tuesday before the Red Sox pulled out once they evaluated pitcher Brusdor Graterol’s medical. Graterol was a prospect the Twins were going to send to Boston with the Dodgers giving pitcher Kenta Maeda to Minnesota.
Instead, Graterol, a 21-year-old hard-throwing right-hander, is headed to the Dodgers along with minor league outfielder Luke Raley and the 67th pick in the draftin exchange for Maeda, minor league catcher Jaír Camargo, and cash. The trade was announced shortly after the Dodgers-Red Sox deal became official.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Betts, Price, Graterol, and Raley, the Dodgers designated first baseman Tyler White and outfielder Kyle Garlick for assignment. White had been the only member of the 2017 Houston Astros on the roster. Last month, Major League Baseball charged the 2017 Astros of illegally stealing signs en route to defeating the Dodgers in the World Series.
By receiving $48 million from the Red Sox, the Dodgers will pay Price that much over the final three years of his contract. The 34-year-old Price battled injuries in his four seasons in Boston and isn’t the elite pitcher that won the 2012 American League Cy Young Award, but he could upgrade the Dodgers rotation if he stays healthy.
Betts will make $27 million this season before becoming a free agent. He has said he will test the waters and is expected to attract one of the richest contracts in major league history. The Red Sox decided they could not afford to retain Betts despite being one of the sport’s richest teams.
Whether Betts’ time in Los Angeles will amount to a one-year rental remains to be seen. But the 27-year-old right fielder’s arrival gives the Dodgers arguably the best lineup and top defensive outfield in the majors as they seek to end a championship drought that goes back to 1988.
He is perhaps the best player in the world outside of Mike Trout, a two-way force who became a fan favorite in Boston for his on-field prowess and off-field likability. He is a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glover winner, three-time Silver Slugger winner, batting champion and the 2018 American League MVP. And now, after some delay, he’s officially a Dodger.