Does the emergence of Rafael Devers now make Mookie Betts more expendable to the Boston Red Sox?
Rafael Devers season could make a Mookie Betts exit less painful to Red Sox Nation. Of course the best answer is the obvious answer is certainly a resounding “no” with special emphasis by shouting it out. Betts is one of the few absolute five-tool premier players in baseball. Betts is also in the sweet spot in both age and free agency. Betts will be 28-years-old at the end of the 2020 season and if unsigned becomes a free agent.
The premise of this relates to life without Betts. Betts is playing his cards close to the vest to use a still not archaic idiom. The Red Sox have reportedly offered Betts a new contract, but the precise details are unknown and subject to hearsay, gossip, and flights of fancy. What is known is Betts has spurred the Red Sox advances and remained contract for the future chaste.
In the event, Betts departs just who will fill the void left? The most likely candidate is Devers who this season is putting up baseball numbers reminiscent of Betts’ 2018 MVP season. Devers is exciting to watch with a ferocious swing, exuberant personality, and a flair for murdering a baseball. And this is just the beginning.
Devers will be just 23-years-old when the 2020 season begins and his talent may continue to accelerate. The one Weakness to Devers’s game is his defense, but even that has improved as the season moves forward. The Betts hole in the line may not be plugged but Devers can certainly make life without Mookie a bit more bearable.
Devers also benefits as does Betts with a lineup – especially the first five – that offers no room for an opposing pitcher to breath. Workaround Devers and face the lumber of Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Andrew Benintendi. Devers is set to receive good pitches to avoid the free base.
The mention of Martinez brings to the surface another possible dent in the lineup and that is Martinez using his opt-out when the season ends and can do the same after 2020 and 2021. Just how that will impact Devers is an interesting item for discussion, but great hitters are great hitters even without a large supporting or complementary cast.
The Red Sox have made and continue to make efforts at signing Betts, but could certainly trade Betts to cut their losses. A deciding factor could also be the emergence of Devers to make such a scenario more plausible. Nice and comfy to have a ready replacement.