The effects from the Boston Red Sox trading Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers are still reverberating around the baseball world. New Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom pulled the trigger on one of the biggest trades in franchise history, moving Betts and David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol.
The trade instantly dropped the Red Sox' odds to win the World Series on FanDuel Sportsbook. The Red Sox had started the offseason trading at +1200 to win it all. Those odds had fallen to +2200 before the trade, and that number has now fallen to just +3300 following the trade. That tends to happen when you trade the 2018 MVP and your best position player.
It's hard not to view the trade as a total abandonment of winning the World Series in 2020. The legions of angry Red Sox fans are certainly seeing it that way. Betts was a homegrown superstar who was spectacular from the moment he arrived on the team in 2014.
He played a key role in winning the 2018 World Series and hit .301/.374/.519 over his Red Sox career. In addition, Betts was a valuable defender in the outfield. Overall, Betts grossed a staggering 37.2 fWAR for the Red Sox, but the Red Sox' unwillingness to lock down Betts long-term and his desire to test free agency at the end of 2020 led to a shocking trade. Packaged with the remainder of David Price's $217 million contract, the deal looks an awful lot like a salary dump.
For 2020, the Red Sox have made themselves much worse. While Verdugo and Graterol are major-league ready, neither of them are expected to produce as much as Betts and Price. Verdugo will slot in at leadoff and finally has a chance to be an everyday star, but he is unlikely to match Betts' production. The Red Sox still have Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez, but there's not much else. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees all got better this season, making the AL East even more competitive. Besides, who's to say that the Red Sox won't continue trading players for future assets if the season goes south?
In addition to losing the engine of their lineup, the Red Sox are also losing an above-average starter in Price. Although he was injury-prone and had lost much of his luster after getting a big contract, Price was still one of the only options the Red Sox had in their rotation. Now Boston will make do with a rotation that features Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, two of whom are both coming back from injuries.
With that context in mind, the Red Sox' fall to +3300 to win the World Series seems entirely justified.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.