The pros and cons of a potential Mookie Betts trade for the San Diego Padres

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The pros and cons of a potential Mookie Betts to the San Diego Padres trade. 

The San Diego Padres are about to acquire Mookie Betts. Or at least, that is what we have all heard on the internet.

While a deal is not imminent and could likely never take place, let’s examine the positives and negatives of acquiring the former AL MVP from Boston. And yes, there are some negatives. The acquisition could potentially be great for San Diego, but it should come at a cost. A massive one.

Let’s examine the cons of a potential deal before hitting on the pros of a possible Mookie Betts deal.


The cost

The rumors are that the Padres would deal Wil Myers, a few prospects, and a couple of young major leaguers for Betts. This seems unlikely, even if the prospects were Luis Campusano and Adrian Morejon. The cost of Wil Myers at $67.5 million for the next three seasons is a real issue. Betts may be due $27 million this coming season, but he is a lock to put up numbers worthy of such a hefty payday. Myers, on the other hand, is an enigma. The Padres extended him too soon and are now attempting to get out from his deal, which is $22.5 million per season until 2022. Boston, naturally, does not want to get burdened by Myers’ contract even if they are a large market team.

The reality is that a deal would probably take Luis Patino or CJ Abrams to get done. MacKenzie Gore is not going anywhere. The Padres would balk at paying this price, but we are talking about Mookie Betts here. Few players can equal his production on the field. Myers and a few marginal prospects seem like a pipe dream and not realistic at all. Even if the Padres pay a portion of his remaining money, the price for Betts would be painful. The fanbase may be ready to move, but trading multiple young players for one single player is a risky move.

One-year rental?

The risk in this move comes from the fact that Mookie Betts is a free agent in less than 10 months. The coming 2020 season is his walk year, and he will get paid. There are rumors that the outfielder and his representatives turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from the Red Sox when the two sides spoke about an extension. On the open market, the right-handed hitter could command upwards of $425 million.

The Padres opened up the pocketbook for Manny Machado last winter, awarding the infielder with a 10-year/$300 million dollar deal that lured him to San Diego via free agency. The Padres are proving to be a team capable of paying a player, but adding Betts to their payroll longterm seems completely unlikely. There are rumors that the team wants to extend Fernando Tatis Jr. longterm, and it will take a pretty penny to do that. Trading a lot of the future for one year of Mookie Betts is not something one would recommend. And if acquired, he would likely be just that.

Too many outfielders currently

Of course, the Padres would easily find playing time for Betts. He is capable of performing all over the outfield and could quickly fill in anywhere. However, the Padres have several outfielders vying for spots this spring. Tommy Pham is a lock, and so is Wil Myers, assuming that he is still on the roster. That leaves Trent Grisham, Manuel Margot, Josh Naylor, and Franchy Cordero all battling it out for perhaps two more roster spots. Then there are young outfielders Taylor Trammell, Jorge Ona, and Edward Olivares who will be in major league camp this spring and are close to service time.

Pham and Betts could play the corners if a trade happens, and the Padres could use an assortment of men to play center. Even Pham and Betts are more than capable of performing the position if needed. The Padres have plenty of outfielders presently, but none (except for Pham) should be guaranteed playing time at this point heading into the 2020 season. Acquiring Betts would likely lead to another trade for the Padres, which can get a bit complicated if they are looking for equal value in return.


It is time to commit to the fans

Extending Wil Myers and signing James Shields were done with good intentions. So was the signing of Eric Hosmer. Those three moves signified that the Padres are relevant once again in MLB. The massive signing of Manny Machado solidified that fact this past winter. The Padres are committed to winning, and the fanbase is excited about the future. All the young players and the well-stocked farm system are beginning to pay real dividends.

Adding Mookie Betts to the San Diego Padres would blow away the fan base. Season ticket sales would increase, merchandise sales would increase, and overall revenue for the team would skyrocket. When you add superstars to an existing group, the fan base responds. Another massive commitment to winning would further assure the fans that this team will pull the trigger when the time is appropriate to acquire talent and spend resources.

Instant credibility in MLB

Not that the Padres are hurting in this department, but there is still a universal generalization that the Padres are a losing franchise. Another last-place finish in 2019 embarrassed the ownership group. They expected more from the team, and significant transactions were made for the coming season. Ron Fowler and Peter Seidler are very proud of what they have created. They expect results.

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Adding Mookie Betts would give the Padres several superstar-type players on the roster. The days of only one Padre player being invited to the annual MLB All-Star game should be over. The Padres are the only major sports franchise in the city of San Diego. They must think big. Acquiring Mookie Betts may not be the smartest thing to do for a business, but sometimes you have to run a team with the kind of passion that fuels the whole sport and city.

I mean- he’s Mookie Betts

What is there to say? The four-time All-Star and 2018 AL MVP is easily one of the top 10 players in the game. He put up a 10.9 WAR during his 2018 season and a 6.8 WAR last year. His 42 WAR total in six major league seasons is on par with Hall of Famers. The former fifth-round pick in 2011 is an exceptional talent, and he would easily add 5-10 wins to a team’s total for the season.

The San Diego Padres would become an offensive force with Betts in the middle of the lineup. The team would be feared by many in the league with a nucleus of Tatis, Pham, Machado, Betts, and Hosmer. The price tag may be too tempting to ignore for the Padres. Yes, it will cost several young players. Yes, it will require a few players that the team had no intention of moving. But, in acquiring an MVP talent like Betts, the price tag should be painful. Even if you only get him for one season. In the end, the decision will come down to what is best for the franchise.

What do you say? Leave some comments and let your opinion be known.

34 thoughts on “The pros and cons of a potential Mookie Betts trade for the San Diego Padres

  1. Perhaps the Dodgers are just trying to increase the leverage of the BoSox against the Padres, or maybe the other way around? If so, well played.

    If the Padres give up any significant future value for a one year rental then that is D U M … dumb.

    If there is a player like Betts available a year or two from now, then that might be worth it. But, at this point, to throw away value for immediate gratification, false hope (of truly competing this year), and to save AJ’s job then that is beyond foolish, but also likely (given Preller’s foolish ways). I guess we can only hope someone will step up and save us from Preller.

  2. Let’s not forget that getting Mookie INCLUDES getting rid of Myers.

    That is huge.

    Even if we don’t resign betts at the end of the year… at least we’ve dumped Myers contract… and can come back and reload

    1. Getting rid of Myers but still having to pay at least half of his salary isn’t quite “getting rid of Myers”. I’m not sure what Myers issue is that has kept him from realizing his potential. I’m going to suggest it was Green playing him out of position all the time, moving him around, and the franchise and fans treating him poorly.

      I’m hoping if he gets a steady position, along with a new manager and teammates, he will regain some of his confidence and start performing better. I’m hoping he’ll make us a better team. Perhaps we trade him at the deadline if he improves. Then, we might not have to GIVE him away.

      Remember, he was still one of our more productive players at the plate. I think he was in the top 5 overall.

      I believe Myers will bounce back and be more productive than last year. I hope Hosmer produces better with more around him. I think the Padres will be a better team this year and thus, more exciting. We were in the midst of a good season until Tatis got hurt and we went into that long skid. Let’s hope a Pham, Manny, Hosmer, and Myers challenge each other and come together. Let’s hope our pitching improves with that year of experience under their belts.

      1. Everyone wants to dump Myers, and this is understandable to varying degrees, but he is far, far, far, far, far better than Hosmer. Yet no one talks about this elephant in the clubhouse. If the Padres traded, or even benched or cut him, they would instantly be far better than with him in the lineup. Myers, given his struggles the past 2 years, would be a significant upgrade at 1B. This is logical and obvious, yet, sadly, it will never happen. Why? Because this would mean Preller would have to admit the biggest blunder in free agency in the last 10 to 30 years.

        So maybe if he is fired then the Padres can cut loose this detrimental player. Yet, I fear unless AJ is fired this will never happen. Therefore the Padres are stuck with this flagrant insanity, and will go no where.

    2. We’d be better off trading Myers to Boston without trying to get Betts back in the trade and giving them less/worse prospects and having to take less of Myers’ contract.

      1. Boston’s only incentive is to get under the salary tax. If they don’t trade us betts, their payroll goes higher and tax gets even worse.

        Also, couldn’t agree more with Tommy T on Hoz vs Myers. Hosmer is the real problem, but he’s unmovable. I’d rather he and Myers platoon, with Myers also in RF. If he finds his form, sell him at the deadline or next offseason when he’s owed less. Should we cut Hosmer though? No. He should just play 1B against RHP.

  3. The Padres say they are a small market team and need to win through the draft then they trade their young talent for a one year rental? That would be foolish. BTW, they main weakness is starting pitching and they did very little to improve it. They have no idea how to construct a major league team. I have no faith in AJ. That guy should be fired.

    1. What are you looking at that you think Pitching was the issue last year?

      Offense was 4th worst in baseball. Pitching was right in the middle in the 14-16 range.

      Davies>lauer, Paddack no innings limit, Luchesi was almost our opening day starter last year and is our 5th option this year. Lamet and Grich are both back and throwing heat. Our rotation and relief corps are way better than last year. Not sure where you’re looking.

  4. His career batting average away from Fenway Park is THIRTY POINTS below his batting average at Fwnway. Just sayin’…

  5. Sorry what has become the universal belief is how foolish this franchise has been and would continue to be giving up good young players for one year of Betts. It’s winning that makes teams exciting. I probably know just one player in the current Aztec team but man 22 and oh is exciting. Smart franchises know it’s winning that gets the fan base excited not a loser with expensive players. When the time is right you make a move for a “rental”. Anybody who has watched this team recently knows they are nowhere near one player from being a winner

  6. It’s too expensive if we include Patino or other top prospects. This is only for one year. Boston wants to move him. If the Dodgers will overpay… so be it. Don’t overpay AJ!

    Meyers, margot, Morejon, (France or Naylor), 2 prospects in the 30-40 range, we eat 5M per year of Myers contract. Anything more than that and it’s too expensive. Don’t mortgage the future for a hope at a WC berth.

  7. If the club can move Myers, and 50% of his salary, for Margot/Naylor, Lucchesi/Quantrill plus 2 top 40 prospects for Betts they should jump all over it.

    1. Yes but why would the Red Sox ever do that? Especially when the Dodgers are supposedly offering a similar prospect package, not trying to dump a terrible contraxt like Myers in the trade and agreeing to take Price?

  8. Remind how many wins creditability gives the Pads? Commit to the fans? So the drafts means nothing now? Nor does the 2016 influx at almost a 100M, the FA signed, PETCO upgraded. Let’s not forget about who this franchise was pre Seidlers. None of the pros you list wash. Even the mighty Mookie will need to adjust to the NL pitchers and to expect an 8 to 10 WAR season switching teams and leagues is not reality.

    So it comes down to what do they get with Mookie they cant get with the current cast of characters. Mookie is one dude and they were 19 games from a WC spot in 2019. If you believe 84 wins for 2020, Mookie COULD be the different with a 6 WAR season or better. Even if they get in a WC game, it’s one game and it could be over. The likelihood of winning a series would be slim and none as they would draw the Dodgers. Remind the last time the Pads won a regular season series against the Dodgers?

    Finally asking price. Boston writers are claiming the ask is 2 from the top 4 plus. LA writers are saying Verdugo is their centerpiece not Pollack which the Pads cannot match and they dont have Wil to dump. I realize the fan and writers ask is always high but if AJ desires to remain with his top 4, they might as well stop now.

    So how is it even logical to trade any of the top 4 for Mookies 1 yr flyer? The odds are better that one of the 4 will be a better than average Major Leauger for 6+ years..

    It’s time to let the Dodgers empty their farm and roster for Mookie. Hard pass with any of the top 4 in the deal.

  9. Look trade hosmer and use france at first,this drops myers if traded and hosmers salary abot 50 mil a year.lots of teams need real one baggers.look we have 6 to 8 pitchers down on the farm 4 ready 4 almost re as dy ,give them patino and sign betts .

    1. 1. No one is trading for Hosmer
      2. What makes you so sure the Padres will be able to “just sign” Mookie Betts?

  10. I think this brings back nightmares of the 2015 season when we lost Trea Turner and Max Fried for Myers and the Upton brothers plus giving Shields $100 million for 5 years (though we flipped him for Tatis Jr. so it doesn’t hurt as much) but also remember back in 2011 the Rizzo for Cashner swap was a total disaster. Imagine if that trade never happened the ripple effects would be Rizzo playing first Turner playing second not paying Myers and Hosmer nearly $250 million over 7 years which would have been enough cash to have added a Harper or Strassburg or Cole or even Betts this coming winter. I say pull the trigger if it only costs Myers Margot Quantrill Campusano and a loser level pitching prospect and we could take on Price’s $90 million over next 3 years to have a proven veteran who would benefit from leaving the pressure of Boston and could realistically return to his former CY Young self even if Betts bolts after a year Trammell would be ready by then and we would still have Price to mentor Gore Paddack Pattino etc. But only that package would be acceptable. I’d prefer if we had a 72 hour window to work out an extension for Betts even if it included a opt out after 2 or 3 years.

  11. It pains me to say this but NO. We are not ready to compete with the Dodgers or Diamondbacks this year. We did not get that front line pitcher we needed in order to maybe compete for a playoff spot. For a one year rental for what we would have to give up no way.

  12. We need pitching over another bat. Look at the last 5-10 World Series champions (including the asterisks). They have a lights out ace plus another one or two top starters. We have a potential ace, close to number two starter in Paddack.

    Keep all our top pitching prospects, don’t trade our top catching talent either. Focus on pitching. Yes Betts is a generational talent, but. It for a 1 year rental.

    1. It all depends on the deal, obviously.

      If we can get Betts for Lucchessi, Margot and Will Myers(eating half) then yes, no doubt.

      But if they eat 75% and want Abrams+ in the deal then no.

      Other things to consider are,

      We keep him away from Dodgers AND do we think we have an actual chance if signing him long term. Do we have another deal in place for Clevinger?? Because we’re gonna need an ACE if we’re going all in.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers signed Betts after this year. If, in addition to this, the Padres have given away any of their top prospects that would be particularly bad.

      2. Lol, still thinking Wil Myers has any value at all.

        Joey Lucchesi and Manny Margot on their own aren’t enough to get Betts. And adding Myers, even with the Padres eating 1/2 of his contract, doesn’t make that package better. It makes it worse.

        And trading for Betts has no bearing on signing him long-term.

      3. Adding on. Who cares about keeping him away from the Dodgers? We didn’t keep Manny Machado away from the Dodgers and that one turned out just fine.

  13. Do not trade our future for a one year rental! As good as a player that Betts is, the fans want to see these young kids play for the Padres. Gore, Patino, Campansano, Abrams, and Trammel are going to join Tatis, Jr., Machado, Paddack and Lamet to bring us winning seasons for years. Remember the Atlanta Braves teams that featured Maddox, Smoltz and Glavine? We are going to be good! Please AJ, do NOT trade these guys away. Go Pads! Let the kids play!

    1. All reports are that Patino, Gore, Abrams and Trammel have been excluded from talks.

      Highest prospect i’ve heard discussed is Campusano (Who i love, but his hitting stats can’t be considered all that real till AA)

  14. If it requires any of our top four, maybe four prospects, no! End of deal, nada, forget it! Not even if they paid all of Myers salary. Take Betts projected value, minus Meyers, and go from there. Even then apparently the front office believes we need a catcher so…maybe forget the whole thing.

  15. I assume the Padres make the deal. The Pro’s have been outweighing the con’s. Every time it comes up on TV or in a article, it always sounds like a deal that needs to get done. Just spend the Money and product capital.

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