Emotional Rescue: or How I Learned to Love the Sox After They Traded Mookie

barbed wire Bob

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I agree these were bad moves and said so at the time. But they happened and nothing can change that, they have to live with the consequences.



So the explanation that they simply don't want to be the highest bidder on this one doesn't make rational sense?

The Cardinals decided not to hand a blank check to the best, most popular player in franchise history other than Musial walk and they didn't stop acquiring top talent, they didn't stop giving out big contracts. They went the the NLCS each of the next three years. The sky did not fall.
And the team that did sign him, and who also signed the best player in MLB to a 12 year/$430m contract, has only made the playoffs once since 2009.

IMO, giving a player a large contract like what Mookie wants is a great way to hobble an organization.
 

Seels

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Can't accept it, can't rationalize it, and would probably have my viewership drop from 150+ games a year to 10-20.

I can accept not re-signing Mookie. It's a hard pill to swallow, but I can accept it, if they're competing in the mean time.

I can even accept a team that is 10+ games back trading him in July.

I can't accept trading him for a package with the best player being a guy who at his absolute best might work out to be Trot Nixon.
 

Marbleheader

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This is still largely the same team that won 108 games. Unless the offer is significantly better than what is reported, I want one more year to make a run for the playoffs. You can always find cheap roster filler, trading a superstar for it is not acceptable to me.

If Mookie leaves for free agency, then I won't fault the team. He's going to do what's best for him.
 

Madmartigan

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Sometimes it’s OK to get the best seasons from your homegrown stud and then let him walk in FA, or better yet, trade him and get some value in return. Yankees fans weren’t pleased when Cano left town but that’s worked out pretty well for them.

Who knows, maybe they dejuice the ball, Mookie only hits 15-20 homers in the NL West and the Sox bring him back at a discount.
 

kobayashis bail bonds

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Any chance we could change the verb tense in the title? Until the deed is done, I get a bit of unnecessary dread whenever I see it. I'd prefer to only have that heart-sinking feeling once.
 

JCizzle

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My line is that they have to make him a palatable contract offer he'll sign. Period. You don't let the best homegrown player they've had since Yaz walk in the primer of his career simply because you don't want to pay him market value. And you don't suddenly find your coffers empty one year after giving stupid deals to Sale and Eovaldi. They knew full well Mookie's deal was coming up.
Yep, you nailed my sentiments exactly.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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People keep saying this, but Machado was also hitting FA two years younger than Betts. That matters a ton to his market value. A ten year deal signs Machado through his age 36 season and Mookie through 38.

Betts is a much better player, we agree. But the point remains that, when Betts was two years of service time short of FA, the Red Sox offered him the same deal that an elite two-way star had just gotten in free agency. That was not a slap in the face. It was the beginning of a negotiation. I imagine they were hoping Betts would come back with 12/$360, and then they'd meet at 11/$330 with an option/buyout or something. But Betts came back with 12/$420, and then they extended Sale (iffy...) and Bogaerts (great!) instead, and now it's the present.
Machado was also coming off a rep as a player who didn't hustle or give a damn, which hurt his value quite a bit. There are no such concerns with Mookie.

Starting Mookie off with the same contract that a worse player with an attitude problem got from a poor team was insanity. And the FO knew it.
 

Kliq

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Haven’t we learned that any time a popular player/coach leaves, the higher-ups are ready to shit on them on the way out? E.g. Tito.
Exactly, it has been said before but you just know that Bob Hohler has a Mookie hit-piece queued up and ready to go once the trade is announced. I already see the spin possibly effecting what people are saying right now, that Mookie is greedy and that management had no other options but to trade him. That simply isn't true.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Machado was also coming off a rep as a player who didn't hustle or give a damn, which hurt his value quite a bit. There are no such concerns with Mookie.

Starting Mookie off with the same contract that a worse player with an attitude problem got from a poor team was insanity. And the FO knew it.
I dunno, as a starting negotiating position it makes about as much sense as Mookie's 12/420 demand. The issue is that, from all appearances, the Sox never budged from that number, which means they were never interested in negotiating in good faith to begin with. And if I were Mookie or his agent that would piss me off quite a bit, especially as all the "Mookie's demands are way too high!!" stuff gets leaked from Sox sources.
 

Beomoose

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Plus, Mookie is insisting on becoming a free agent and testing the waters no matter what, right? Or has he said he will sign for X amount and not go into free agency?
The story about the Sox offer said Mookie's people made a counter, which means there's a number he's willing to stay for. Whether the reported numbers are real, who can say?
 

geoduck no quahog

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Stick with the facts. The Red Sox are attempting to get under the cap and also get something back for a guy who's going to enter FA at the end of this season. There's nothing anywhere that assumes they won't make a concerted effort to re-sign him in 2021 (without the penalties associated breaking the cap in 2020). This could be a one year pause in team development mandated because no one is suggesting that he'd be willing to take a reasonable pre-FA extension. This is the price for spending too much on payroll over the past few years and a reset has nothing to do with Bett's longer term prospects in Boston.

...and he absolutely deserves the best payday and/or personal situation that he can get in 2021. The same rules apply to all.
 

CreightonGubanich

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Of course the Sox aren't precluded from re-signing Mookie if they trade him, but I think if they really thought they were going to be willing to pay what it would take to re-sign Mookie long term, they'd value Mookie's 2020 more than the theoretical trade package. In other words, if he's part of the long term future of this team, then a prime year of one of baseball's best players is too valuable for a team with championship aspirations to trade. On the other hand, if they've determined they're not going to be willing to pay what it would take to keep him, it's management malpractice to lose him for nothing when you have the opportunity to get real value for him.

I don't think it's all about getting under the tax threshold in 2020. If that was the sole concern, there's other ways to do it that are less detrimental to building a contending team in the near future.
 

YTF

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Red Sox are going to recover. It still pisses me off that Dodgers are always going for trading for our superstars. (Although obviously it was awesome when they went for Beckett and Agon)
Manny was traded to the Dodgers in a three way trade including Pittsburgh at the deadline in 2008. He had an outstanding rest of that season. Fast forward to early May the next season and he found himself facing a 50 game PED suspension and his career after that was basically shit. The Red Sox return in that deal was Jason Bay who finished up 2008 nicely with Boston and had a great 2009 season before moving on to New York in 2010 where his career after that was basically shit.
 
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tims4wins

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I don’t want Mookie to be traded because I think the Sox could be an under .500 team without him. But with all the rumors swirling and spring training starting in 10 days, either do it or don’t.
They only won 84 games with him, I'm not sure this is a valid concern. They'll go as the starting pitching goes.
I dunno, as a starting negotiating position it makes about as much sense as Mookie's 12/420 demand. The issue is that, from all appearances, the Sox never budged from that number, which means they were never interested in negotiating in good faith to begin with. And if I were Mookie or his agent that would piss me off quite a bit, especially as all the "Mookie's demands are way too high!!" stuff gets leaked from Sox sources.
It's not just that Machado was 2 years younger, it's also that a 10 year deal would have bought out 2 years of underpaid arb years. Mookie stands to have made $20M in 2019 and $27M in 2020. He would have made $60M under the Sox proposal. If you consider 2019 and 2020 the same - the $47M - it increases the value of the remaining 8 years to $253M or $31.625M per year. Clearly that's not what Mookie wants, but that doesn't scream "slap in the face" to me.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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You can be rational about this and understand the business aspect while still being a fan. I get why Boston is looking to move Mookie. But I also get why some other posters are frustrated by it.

Boston shouldn't be sending out MVP caliber players - they should be acquiring and retaining them. Furthermore, you can argue that they got an incredible bargain on his production over the past five years so paying a lot for his decline years shouldn't be as problematic - if they get it mostly right, it will all even out. I also understand that argument doesn't really hold water from a pure financial perspective.

In short, a Betts trades sucks and its a bad look for the Red Sox from a fan perspective. Unless you are a prospect lover, in which case you'll get some shiny new toys!
 

radsoxfan

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When talking about the numbers (i.e. 10/300 and 12/420) we shouldn't gloss over the fact that he isn't a free agent. Mookie is amazing and I want him to stay, but there is a non-zero chance he gets a serious injury and/or puts up a mediocre year in 2020. His FA would look a lot different if he puts up a 4 WAR (or less) season or misses a bunch of games due to injury. Teams get into a lot of trouble paying long term FA rates for players that aren't FA yet.

Who knows if 12/420 is really the lowest Mookie would take right now, but assuming he wouldn't budge much off that number, he's asking to be paid as if he has another MVP type season in 2020. There is a very reasonable chance of that happening, but it's not so likely that it makes sense to offer it right now. If he reaches FA and you still want to sign him, hard to imagine you would ever have to pay much more than that.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I don't buy the "John Henry is a billionaire so he should spend whatever it takes" argument.

How long ago was it that we all hated how Steinbrenner ran the Yankees, spending without any regard to the impact on the overall competitiveness of the game. If you take the "let them spend all the money" to its logical end, all the best players will be concentrated on a small number of super teams, and baseball will be a lot less fun. I like the Sox being one of the richest teams, but don't need them to be part of an exclusive oligarchy.
 

budcrew08

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This is still largely the same team that won 108 games. Unless the offer is significantly better than what is reported, I want one more year to make a run for the playoffs. You can always find cheap roster filler, trading a superstar for it is not acceptable to me.

If Mookie leaves for free agency, then I won't fault the team. He's going to do what's best for him.
The second part of this is exactly right. MLB players have to wait so long to get to FA, it makes sense business-wise that when you get there to test the market. If Mookie signs elsewhere, that’s his prerogative
 

Zupcic Fan

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As someone who watches the Celtics with little emotion, couldn’t care less if the Patriots win or lose unless I have a bet on the game, and wouldn’t watch a hockey game if it were played in my living room, I have no choice. I will watch and go to Sox games with or without Mookie. it’s the only sport I love. But I‘m really mixed on Mookie. the 2018 Mookie and I would definitely say give him anything he wants. The 2019 Mookie no way. I spent a lot of time talking to friends about how many at bats both Mookie and JD Martinez frustrated me by flailing at those sliders. Their at bats just seemed so much better to me in 2018. Which now makes me wonder how much easier it makes laying off that pitch if you know it’s coming. So no matter what team he‘s on this year, I’ll be really curious to see if he is 2018 Mookie or 2019 Mookie. I’m sure I‘m overreacting to all the Astro/Red Sox/Cora cheating news. But before I offered anyone the kind of money he’s talking about, I’d need to see another season first.
 

Kliq

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I don't buy the "John Henry is a billionaire so he should spend whatever it takes" argument.

How long ago was it that we all hated how Steinbrenner ran the Yankees, spending without any regard to the impact on the overall competitiveness of the game. If you take the "let them spend all the money" to its logical end, all the best players will be concentrated on a small number of super teams, and baseball will be a lot less fun. I like the Sox being one of the richest teams, but don't need them to be part of an exclusive oligarchy.
I understand what you are saying, but there is a difference between shelling out for every big name player that hits FA, and for saying you can't afford your own homegrown superstar. I don't think people huffed and puffed about Georgie giving Jeter a big deal.
 

jon abbey

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I understand what you are saying, but there is a difference between shelling out for every big name player that hits FA, and for saying you can't afford your own homegrown superstar. I don't think people huffed and puffed about Georgie giving Jeter a big deal.
That was a different CBA.
 

Trautwein's Degree

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"I think they meant it when they said you can't buy love
Now I know you can rent it"

Enjoy what you have while you have it. Because it always ends. The question is just when and how. The wheels on this bus were set in motion years ago.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Just for old time's sake, I'd like to thank LondonSox for introducing us to Mookie. Unfortunately, LondonSox appears to no longer be around either.
That thread is amazing in retrospect. Thank God the Sox transitioned him to the OF and didn't trade him because he was blocked by Pedroia, which many posters predicted early on (others, including Keith Law, predicted he'd become a Ben Zobrist/Brock Holt supersub). Also kind of amazing how quickly Mookie went from "fringe prospect" to "top-100 MLB prospect and a surefire major leaguer" - it basically happened over the course of a single season in Single A.
 

Kliq

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That was a different CBA.
Which I understand, but my point is that outside fans don't care if a team overpays its own player. If/when the Yankees ink Judge to a mighty extension, nobody is going to roll their eyes and say "Of course the Yankees signed someone to a big contract."

Overpaying for Gerrit Cole on the other hand, that will generate some eye rolling.
 

TomBrunansky23

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I want them to trade him. You heard that right.

Even a 10 year deal has potential franchise-crippling ramifications if, as is somewhat likely, the player precipitously declines in the back half of such a monster deal and you lose out on opportunities to improve your roster with that hanging on your back. I hope they never sign anyone to a Machado-Harper-Trout type of deal.

We've spent the better part of the last year hemming and hawing about how to get around the impediments created by Pedoia's relatively modest $16.5mm AAV. Can you imagine a similar problem in 5 to 7 years when the same song and dance takes place with $35-$40mm per year on the books and 3 to 5 years remaining? Are we going to talk about making Mookie a coach then?

With this franchise's resources - financially, player development-wise, and evaluation-wise - that $35-$40 million per year can be put to a lot more intelligent and efficient use than to have it tied up in one player in the hopes that he's the same at 33 or 34 as he was at 28. No thank you.
 

DJnVa

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This is where I am at as well. Mookie being traded has become an inevitable truth that I have learned to accept.

What really frustrates me is the spin that is happening about how this is either about Mookie being greedy
Have we seen this take?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Of course the Sox aren't precluded from re-signing Mookie if they trade him, but I think if they really thought they were going to be willing to pay what it would take to re-sign Mookie long term, they'd value Mookie's 2020 more than the theoretical trade package. In other words, if he's part of the long term future of this team, then a prime year of one of baseball's best players is too valuable for a team with championship aspirations to trade. On the other hand, if they've determined they're not going to be willing to pay what it would take to keep him, it's management malpractice to lose him for nothing when you have the opportunity to get real value for him.

I don't think it's all about getting under the tax threshold in 2020. If that was the sole concern, there's other ways to do it that are less detrimental to building a contending team in the near future.
Unless they are blowing smoke, I think the opposite might be true.

Why can’t it be possible that the Sox cannot sign him for Trout money without a luxury tax reset? That seems very plausible to me.

If 12/4XX is what it will take, they cannot do it today and be a contender in the future for the reasons that were outlined in the Speir piece from a couple months ago about the long-term ripple effect of no cap reset. It just isn’t navigable.

I feel fairly confident that if the Sox are willing to go to a number starting with a 4, they are going to have a great chance of getting him next year if they want him. Trading him now doesn’t seem to foreclose the possibility but to the contrary seems to make it possible.
 

rymflaherty

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If Sale is somehow healthy and pitching like one of the top pitchers in the sport I’ll feel better about Mookie having to be dealt...
If that’s not the case...whether it’s right or wrong, I’m going to look at the Sale deal as an unnecessary (at the time) and awful overpay that necessitated Mookie being dealt.

it’s probably unfair, but since I didn’t really understand the Sale extension, how that turns out, more than anything, will shape how I view the roster and the corresponding moves for the near future.
 

Eddie Jurak

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My line is that they have to make him a palatable contract offer he'll sign. Period. You don't let the best homegrown player they've had since Yaz walk in the primer of his career simply because you don't want to pay him market value. And you don't suddenly find your coffers empty one year after giving stupid deals to Sale and Eovaldi. They knew full well Mookie's deal was coming up.
I think it would be OK if they tried to sign him by making a fair offer, and he declined and went elsewhere for a better one. My problem is that 10, $300MM for Mookie is supposed to look like a great offer when it is just the 2020 version of the crap offer they made to Lester back in the day.

The Red Sox were a dominant team for the first ~20 years of the 20th century. Then they sold off their best player.

Why the F are we doing that again?
 

brandonchristensen

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If Sale is somehow healthy and pitching like one of the top pitchers in the sport I’ll feel better about Mookie having to be dealt...
If that’s not the case...whether it’s right or wrong, I’m going to look at the Sale deal as an unnecessary (at the time) and awful overpay that necessitated Mookie being dealt.

it’s probably unfair, but since I didn’t really understand the Sale extension, how that turns out, more than anything, will shape how I view the roster and the corresponding moves for the near future.
We don't know that even with the money that Mookie would stay here. He wouldn't accept an extension, he wants free agency, and someone might give him insane money that, Sale or not, the Sox wouldn't do.
 

tims4wins

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If Sale is somehow healthy and pitching like one of the top pitchers in the sport I’ll feel better about Mookie having to be dealt...
If that’s not the case...whether it’s right or wrong, I’m going to look at the Sale deal as an unnecessary (at the time) and awful overpay that necessitated Mookie being dealt.

it’s probably unfair, but since I didn’t really understand the Sale extension, how that turns out, more than anything, will shape how I view the roster and the corresponding moves for the near future.
If Sale pitches like crap (or doesn’t pitch) it won’t matter if they have Mookie. Just like 2019.
I think it would be OK if they tried to sign him by making a fair offer, and he declined and went elsewhere for a better one. My problem is that 10, $300MM for Mookie is supposed to look like a great offer when it is just the 2020 version of the crap offer they made to Lester back in the day.

The Red Sox were a dominant team for the first ~20 years of the 20th century. Then they sold off their best player.

Why the F are we doing that again?
10/$300 didn’t happen this offseason. If it did we all agree it would be an insulting offer. A non-starter. It happened prior to 2019 which meant buying out 2 arb years.
 

nvalvo

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I think it would be OK if they tried to sign him by making a fair offer, and he declined and went elsewhere for a better one. My problem is that 10, $300MM for Mookie is supposed to look like a great offer when it is just the 2020 version of the crap offer they made to Lester back in the day.

The Red Sox were a dominant team for the first ~20 years of the 20th century. Then they sold off their best player.

Why the F are we doing that again?
We offered Lester less than half of what his highest offer in Free Agency (from SF) ended up being.

I don’t think even the Dodgers are offering Mookie $600m.
 

patoaflac

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Won’t be difficult after Lynn, Burleson, Fisk and Pedro. I know it’s only my feeling, but I believe Mookie will continue to be a good player, as in 2019, but not a superstar.
 

Hank Scorpio

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I was already pessimistic about the 2020 Red Sox after the horrible performances of Sale/Price/Eovaldi last season.

Then they announced they’d like to massively slash payroll.

Then Cora gets fired.

Now they’re going to trade Mookie because Dombrowski inexplicably threw wads of cash at Sale after he missed most of the second half of 2018. Great.

I can think of better things to pay attention to this summer.
 

5dice

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Now they’re going to trade Mookie because Dombrowski inexplicably threw wads of cash at Sale after he missed most of the second half of 2018. Great.

I don't know how many times it needs to be said that Betts is intent on taking free agency LITERALLY and that $420M is just not going to be workable for 10 years on a competitive team that needs to pay lots of other stars now and in the future, be it Sale, Eovaldi and XB now, or some other guys in 7 years that you haven't heard of yet.

Mookie Betts is a nice guy with a happy and positive demeanor and so to many, that may falsely appear as a friendly player that you could sign early, like XB.
That has not proven to be true by a number of accounts (and not just team propaganda) and he is determined to set the bar on the open market, whether that mission is informed by personal goals, hard agent drive, a family thing or who knows what else. That is a fact.
 

Sox Puppet

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whether it’s right or wrong, I’m going to look at the Sale deal as an unnecessary (at the time) and awful overpay that necessitated Mookie being dealt.
So what you're saying is ... because we messed up trying to sign a couple shaky pitchers at Sale Price, now we have to hedge our Betts financially?
 

CreightonGubanich

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Unless they are blowing smoke, I think the opposite might be true.

Why can’t it be possible that the Sox cannot sign him for Trout money without a luxury tax reset? That seems very plausible to me.

If 12/4XX is what it will take, they cannot do it today and be a contender in the future for the reasons that were outlined in the Speir piece from a couple months ago about the long-term ripple effect of no cap reset. It just isn’t navigable.

I feel fairly confident that if the Sox are willing to go to a number starting with a 4, they are going to have a great chance of getting him next year if they want him. Trading him now doesn’t seem to foreclose the possibility but to the contrary seems to make it possible.
Sure, that's possible, but Mookie's made it clear that he's not signing an extension. He's going to free agency next year regardless of what happens. So he's on the books for $27M for 2019 no matter what, as long as he's on the Sox roster. If the Sox wanted to sign him to a $400M+ deal next year, there are other ways of getting below $208M this year that clear the decks to do so while not removing a potential MVP candidate from the 2020 roster.

I just don't see how the Sox could conclude that the best way to get below the tax threshold this year, if that's the sole concern, is to trade one of the game's best players on a (for this year only, obviously) below market contract.

So yes - I think the Sox are concerned about the tax threshold, but I also don't think they want to pay Mookie market value next year. And they might be correct about that - it's a lot of money and a lot of years for one player. Regardless, we know they'll never come out and say that publicly.