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 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.
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.
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.