After a few days of issues, the Red Sox finalized their deal to send Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, solidifying the Dodgers as the favorites in the NL. The Atlanta Braves will continue to lag behind the far superior Dodgers.
The Red Sox, Dodgers, and Minnesota Twins initial three-team mega-trade was stuck in limbo after the Twins pitching prospect, Graterol, injury history was called into question. After a couple of days of trying to hammer out the details of the deal, the Dodgers finally put together a package of three prospects to get Mookie to Los Angeles. By adding Mookie to their roster, the Dodgers become the overwhelming favorite in the National League.
This is a frustrating trade to watch get done for the Atlanta Braves. After putting together a fantastic offseason that saw the Braves put together possibly the best bullpen in all of baseball, replace Josh Donaldson’s spot in the lineup with Marcell Ozuna, and add a veteran starter in Cole Hamels, the Braves have to watch the Dodgers get better while not giving up any major assets from their major-league roster. The Braves have had a great offseason, and will still be looking up to the Dodgers all season.
One of the more frustrating parts of the Dodgers-Red Sox deal is looking at what the Dodgers gave up for arguably the second-best player in all of baseball. The Braves could have easily matched any package the Dodgers were offering with pitching and position talent, depending on what the Red Sox were seeking. The Braves were rumored to have inquired about Mookie, but it was clear from the start the team was never willing to give up any of their top-level prospects. That’s a move that could cost the Braves a World Series title this season.
The Atlanta Braves are, arguably, one of the best teams in the National League. Before the Mookie trade, the Braves weren’t that far behind the Dodgers. Now, after the move, the Dodgers look unbeatable. It’s still baseball, which means no team is unbeatable, but the Dodgers lineup is flat-out scary. The willingness to part from top prospects and go for it has put the Dodgers in position to win in all this season. The Braves, who continue to play it safe, will continue to lag behind teams like the Dodgers. The Braves will have a big hill to climb this season.