The Los Angeles Dodgers just got better when the team completed a trade that would send Mookie Betts and David Price to LA. With the move, the Atlanta Braves saw the talent gap widen even more in the National League.
A Mookie Betts trade has been on the cusp of completion all offseason since the Boston Red Sox made it clear they had no intention of signing the superstar outfielder to a mega-deal. Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers completed their swap, with the Minnesota Twins included to help complete the deal. The trade sends Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers. In return, Boston received a package of minor leaguers that include Brusdar Graterol and Alex Verdugo. The Twins, for Graterol, got Kenta Maeda for their part in the trade.
The San Diego Padres were the other team that was rumored to be deep into discussions of snatching Mookie from the Red Sox. For the Padres, a team that hasn’t made the postseason since 2006, trading for Betts would have been a game-changing move that could have possibly elevated them past their NL West rival, Dodgers. Instead, the rich get richer with Mookie going to LA to join the Dodgers.
For the Dodgers, this move improves a lineup that was arguably the best in the NL, and maybe all of the MLB. The Dodgers, before this trade, were fielding a lineup that included Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, the NL MVP, Justin Turner, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, and AJ Pollack. Adding Betts to that lineup takes the Dodgers to another level. Possibly, a level no other NL team can compete with.
For the Atlanta Braves, this move is a big blow to the World Series aspirations the team had coming into the season. Even before the Dodgers-Red Sox trade, the Dodgers were going to be a massive mountain to overcome for the Braves. Now, with Betts in the fold, the task just became almost insurmountable. The Braves offseason has been fantastic up to this point with the signings of Will Smith, Marcell Ozuna, Cole Hamels, but even with all of those moves, the Braves will still have a mighty hill to climb with the Dodgers improving.
Even Las Vegas felt the significance of the trade yesterday. Before the trade, the Dodgers were 7-1 to win the NL. Now, with Betts in LA, the Dodgers are 4-1 favorites to come out of the NL. The Dodgers were already a great team. Yesterday, they got even better. Now, it’s time for the Braves to respond with a move of their own, whether that be for a certain third baseman in Chicago or a starting pitcher to shore up the rotation. If the Braves continue to stand pat, the Dodgers could leave them in the dust.