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Dodgers News: The Mookie Betts Trade Still Haunts Bill Simmons

After the 2019 season, when it became clear to the Red Sox that Mookie Betts would not be signing a contract extension with them, new Boston general manager Chaim Bloom undertook the task of trading the team’s franchise player. In the end, the Dodgers won the bidding, sending Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong to the Red Sox for Betts and David Price (and, more importantly to the rebuilding Sox, half of Price’s salary).

It’s been over two years since that trade went down, and famous Boston sports fan Bill Simmons is showing no signs of getting over it any time soon.

“Unconscionable catastrophe” and “f***ing apocalypse” … gee, Bill, tell us how you really feel.

You might quibble with Simmons’ exact assessment of the trade value, but that sentiment is surely fueled at least somewhat by the poor performance this season of Verdugo, the centerpiece of the deal. Verdugo has a .689 OPS (90 OPS+) and his defense has not been nearly good enough to make up for the below-average bat.

Meanwhile, Mookie is batting leadoff for the best team in baseball, with an OPS of .881 (140 OPS+) and the most Outs Above Average of any right-fielder in the National League.

When you trade a generational talent like Mookie Betts, your hope is to make up for in quantity what you’re losing in quality — basically, you hope that five years of Verdugo and six years each of Downs and Wong will outweigh one final year of Betts.

But to see Betts sign a long-term extension with the Dodgers before ever playing a game for them — which really drive home the point that he wasn’t opposed to an extension, he just didn’t want an extension with Boston — that has to hurt as a Red Sox fan.

Dodgers fans are no strangers to heartbreaking trades — Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez are both in the Hall of Fame wearing other caps after debuting with the Dodgers, after all — so we can empathize a bit with how Simmons is feeling.

But as Dodgers fans, it feels pretty nice to be on this end of the “f***ing apocalypse” this time.

Reacting to the Mookie Betts $365 Million MEGA DEAL with the Dodgers!

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

One Comment

  1. Don’t forget that historic trade from a few years ago with Houston. Losing a prospect Yordan something-or-other for the immortal Josh Fields.

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