While Mookie Betts’ future with the Red Sox remains uncertain, one former teammate has weighed in his trade rumors.
Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz spoke to NBC Boston’s Phil Perry on Thursday about his ‘little brother’ and his approaching unrestricted free agency after the 2020 season. With rumors that both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres are interested in a potential trade deal, and Betts’ having not reached an agreement with the Red Sox, it’s possible that he could walk as a free agent.
Ortiz, who thinks Betts is too valuable for the Red Sox to lose, shared his thoughts.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) January 30, 2020
“Here’s the thing, though, my boy Mookie [Betts] is at the stage of his career where he has to get what he deserves,” Ortiz said. “The Red Sox, we have a very high payroll and I don’t think our owner wants to go past that. Signing Mookie, it definitely would put that payroll way over. I don’t think the Red Sox are ready for that. You don’t want to get rid of a guy like him because Mookie’s got to be, right now, the most exciting player to watch, in the whole MLB. That’s my boy, that’s like a little brother to me.”
Betts has had a successful six-year career in Boston, having won three Silver Slugger awards, four Golden Glove awards, and is a four-time All Star. In 2016 he was named the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year and in 2018 he was the American League MVP.
Even with that success, Ortiz was honest about the business-side of MLB.
“I could talk to you about Mookie forever, but the reality is, business-wise, this is going to be his last year [under contract].” And you know the game that teams love playing with a guy like him — I trade him, I will get young talent [and] you will get whatever you want with Mookie. Unfortunately, that’s the baseball business.”