We recently had a Colorado Rockies fan ask us what it would take to acquire Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox. Today, we delve into what it would take to do that.
The Boston Red Sox have said for much of the last few months that they are looking to cut payroll so that they can go below the $208 million luxury tax threshold. That became even more evident this week as they hired the Tampa Bay Rays Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom to become their Chief of Baseball Operations.
They will definitely look at multiple ways of cutting their salaries but one avenue that they could look toward is trading their former AL MVP outfielder Mookie Betts.
He is a free agent after the 2020 season but MLB Trade Rumors projects that he will make $27.7 million in 2019 via arbitration (he made $20 million in 2019). Not including Betts and the eight other arbitration eligible players that the Red Sox already have, the Red Sox have already committed $159.2 million to other players in 2020.
If you include the projected salaries of Betts and the other eight arbitration eligible players, the Red Sox payroll would be $223.8 million, well over the luxury tax threshold.
Cutting payroll and still getting better is something that often doesn’t work together. The Red Sox already missed the playoffs by 12 games in 2018 so essentially, the Red Sox would have to hit a home run to pull the trigger on a deal.