NBC Sports Boston‘s John Tomase came out with an article this morning suggesting how the Boston Red Sox may blow up this team. Sitting three games back for the second Wild Card spot and eight games back in the division, this 34-34 Red Sox team has wildly disappointed.
Last year they were champions of the world, this year they do not even have the best title odds in their own city.
Tomase gave some of the reasons why the Red Sox may move on from 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and some of his teammates. However, he did not outline what exactly they could get back for these players.
While keeping in mind this is purely speculation, let’s take a look at a potential trade scenario:
To the Atlanta Braves: OF Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts is a free-agent after 2020, and in his time in Boston he has repeatedly turned down the Red Sox offers in arbitration. He is from Nashville, Tennessee, which is an hour-long flight away from Atlanta. As the time goes by he seems less likely to want to return as a free-agent. So, trade him while he has value.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski blew up this farm system in exchange for a championship, and that has its merits. However, at some point bringing in some new young talent is necessary.
This move re-tools their depleted minor league system while also helping out their Major League squad. This move gives them some a couple solid pitching prospects to go along with Jay Groome, Darwinzon Hernandez and Durbin Feltman.
This winter, Ozzie Albies and the Braves agreed to a contract that raised a lot of controversy for being too team-friendly. At 7-years, $35 million his contract looks to be one of the best assets the Braves have. The young second baseman already has an All-Star selection to his name and can provide solid production at a position of need for Boston. Dustin Pedroia is not getting younger and recent news suggests he may never play in Boston again.
Not only that, but the Red Sox would be acquiring an old foe in Markakis, who slashed .297/.366/.440 at the age of 34 last season. The former Baltimore Oriole has swaths of experiences terrorizing the AL East. According to baseball-reference.com, in 82 career games at Fenway Park, Markakis has an .818 OPS with 30 (!!) doubles. His salary of just $4 million this year and $6 million next year will be very enticing for the Red Sox, who are perpetually near the luxury tax.
The three pitchers the Red Sox would be getting in this move are all top-20 prospects in the Braves system.
Wright is their No. 2 prospect, and is No. 27 overall. According to his MLB.com prospect portfolio, Wright has the potential to be a “frontline starter” with four 55-plus grade pitches.
The Braves No. 9 prospect, Allard, projects out as a future starter as he sits in the low-90s with his fastball. The 2015 1st-rounder made his Major League debut last year.
Weigal is a hard-throwing righty who projects as a bullpen option in the short-term. He sits at No. 17 on MLB.com’s top-30 Braves prospect list.The Red Sox bullpen has already blown 10 saves this season, anyone with a pulse can help at this point.
The Braves are adding a former MVP hitting his prime at age 26. After bringing another ring to Boston last year, he has a 2.8 bWAR through 67 games. He is one of, if not the, best defensive players in the game.
The Braves have scored the 4th most runs in the National League this season, and are currently in a tie for first place in the NL East with the Philadelphia Phillies. With the addition of Betts to their team, it would immediately vault them to favorites in the division, maybe even the league as a whole.
Yes, this team is giving up some potential studs in the future, but it may be in exchange for a chance at a championship.