The Los Angeles Dodgers are pulling off two trades that are changing the complexion of their team but does it change the outlook on the NL West going into 2020?
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report on Tuesday night that the Los Angeles Dodgers were set to acquire outfielder Mookie Betts, starting pitcher David Price, and a significant amount of cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox.
It was later reported that the Minnesota Twins were also apart of the deal as a third team and later, Passan and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Dodgers were trading outfielder Joc Pederson to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo. Also, more players would be involved.
As of 6 AM M.T., this is what we know the two trades will look like.
So the Dodgers, as of now, are losing Kenta Maeda to Minnesota, Alex Verdugo to Boston, and Joc Pederson and “a big league starter and another prospect,” per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic on Twitter (the prospect is outfielder Andy Pages, per Kiley McDaniel of ESPN) to the Angels while gaining Betts, Price, Rengifo, and “another prospect,” per Ardaya’s tweet.
Their lineup would likely look like this, per Roster Resource.
- Mookie Betts, RF
- Max Muncy, 1B
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Corey Seager, SS
- A.J. Pollock, LF
- Will Smith, C
- Gavin Lux, 2B
They’d likely have a bench of Austin Barnes, Luis Rengifo, Matt Beaty, Kike Hernandez, and Chris Taylor.
Their rotation would now look like this.
- Clayton Kershaw, SP
- Walker Buehler, SP
- David Price, SP
- Alex Wood, SP
- Julio Urias, SP
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Thoughts on the Dodgers and the NL West
With the two trades, it’s a bit confusing, especially since we don’t know all of the names and the amount in the “cash considerations” yet.
However, with all of this, as MLBTR noted, even with the acquisition of Betts $27 million and Price’s salary of $32 million for the next three years, the trading of Maeda, Pederson, and acquisition of cash from Boston will likely keep them under the luxury tax threshold.
Even though they only get Betts for one guaranteed season before free agency, the Dodgers have the money to be able to afford Betts long-term so if they can, it would even be more of a coup for them, especially considering they didn’t have to trade many prospects for him and Price.
By acquiring Betts, Price, and Rengifo, it looks like the Dodgers are even a better team than before. The Dodgers were the obvious front-runner in the NL West but the D’Backs have improved a lot this offseason (as have the Padres, to a lesser extent). If anything, it has made the D’Backs and Padres moves moot in the West and it has made the Rockies lack of moves even more challenging for them to be in the playoff hunt.
With the Pirates, Marlins, and Giants not being in contention, the D’Backs, Padres, and Rockies are almost certainly going to be one of eleven teams competing for four playoff spots. That’s not a good thing for the Rockies, who look like they are a third place team in the West, at best.