Mookie details Boston exit

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,583
South Dartmouth, MA
So painful. It's a disgrace he's not still here.

And to think of all the posters here who assured me that his best days were well behind him...
With the caveat that I dont remember anyone saying anything quite that that extreme (as above posters have alluded to. And as someone who still cant believe the trade happened (or, at least, cant believe the return at this point) and would've overpaid Mookie...but isnt the bolded statement somewhat accurate? I get it's only one stat but per WAR:
2018 - 10.4
2016 - 9.5
2019 - 7.3
2022 - 6.4 (maybe he gets up to 6.6ish over last 22 games?)
2021- 4.2
2020 - 3.6 but in only 55 games and maybe WAR wise he gets to 2016 #s.

His 3 best years in Boston average to a 9.16 WAR. If you give him what he was on pace for in 2020 (9.5 over 145 games), and give him 6.7 for this year, his 3 years in LA average average 6.8 WAR.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
66,092
The worry about signing Mookie to a big deal can be shown by Andrew McCutchen, who Betts was compared to a lot in his first few years. Betts is at least a notch better, but Cutch fell off around age 30 and quickly collapsed.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
32,858
Hingham, MA
The worry about signing Mookie to a big deal can be shown by Andrew McCutchen, who Betts was compared to a lot in his first few years. Betts is at least a notch better, but Cutch fell off around age 30 and quickly collapsed.
Through age 28:
Cutch: .298 / .388 / .496 / .884 / 144 OPS+ ~4500 PA / 151 HR / 236 2B / 39 3B / 154 SB / 543 BB / 779 K
Mookie: .296 / .373 / .518 / .890 / 133 OPS+ ~4400 PA / 178 HR / 267 2B / 30 3B / 146 SB / 463 BB / 588 K

They are incredibly similar through their age 28 season.

While Cutch did get worse at 29, here is his 29 through 35. Still a productive player.
.253 / .346 / .438 / .783 / 111 OPS+ / ~3600 PA / 135 HR / 152 2B / 10 3B / 51 SB / 427 BB / 743 K

As a reminder, Mookie is signed through 2032 / his age 39 season.
 

jmcc5400

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
4,209
Mookie is now 8th all time among RF in WAR7 - basically 7 year peak, not necessarily in consecutive seasons. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_RF.shtml (hopefully this sorts by WAR7)

Since he's only had seven seasons in which he has played in 122 games, this is quite the accomplishment. He'll be in the Ott/Clemente/F. Robinson inner circle before all is said and done.
 

TomBrunansky23

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2006
741
Crapchester, NY
It continues to amaze me that Mookie keeps...talking...about...Boston. Over and over, it seems. Is he trying to make us feel better, or himself? How has his representation not convinced him to let it go? You're in LA, pal. A world champion* there and maybe about to make history by winning the MVP in both leagues, and yet he still misses zero opportunities to discuss something that happend three years ago. I don't get it.

I miss him. I wish he was here under the contract he has. But it's over and done. I'm tired of us still litigating it here and I'm confused why the player himself still wants to litigate it.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
It continues to amaze me that Mookie keeps...talking...about...Boston. Over and over, it seems. Is he trying to make us feel better, or himself? How has his representation not convinced him to let it go? You're in LA, pal. A world champion* there and maybe about to make history by winning the MVP in both leagues, and yet he still misses zero opportunities to discuss something that happend three years ago. I don't get it.

I miss him. I wish he was here under the contract he has. But it's over and done. I'm tired of us still litigating it here and I'm confused why the player himself still wants to litigate it.
He didn't. Someone wrote an article about how good he as been, it contained no quotes from Mookie on leaving Boston or anything else.
 

JOBU

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 22, 2021
5,594
With the caveat that I dont remember anyone saying anything quite that that extreme (as above posters have alluded to. And as someone who still cant believe the trade happened (or, at least, cant believe the return at this point) and would've overpaid Mookie...but isnt the bolded statement somewhat accurate? I get it's only one stat but per WAR:
2018 - 10.4
2016 - 9.5
2019 - 7.3
2022 - 6.4 (maybe he gets up to 6.6ish over last 22 games?)
2021- 4.2
2020 - 3.6 but in only 55 games and maybe WAR wise he gets to 2016 #s.

His 3 best years in Boston average to a 9.16 WAR. If you give him what he was on pace for in 2020 (9.5 over 145 games), and give him 6.7 for this year, his 3 years in LA average average 6.8 WAR.
I’d be curious to see what this looks like with a park adjustment. Dodger stadium is nowhere near as hitter friendly as Fenway, right?

or does WAR already include the adjustment?
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,583
South Dartmouth, MA
It’s crazy to me how much people have dug their heels in on this topic as I’ve always understood both sides. I do have a question for the people who think not resigning was 100% a tragedy: but what’s the tenor of this board if this Sox did extend him at what he wanted, and then in the first full year after covid he misses 40 games and puts up a 4.2 WAR?

edit: just seeing your question @JOBU, it’s a fair point and one I’m not educated enough to address if I’m being honest
 

The Filthy One

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 11, 2005
3,170
Los Angeles
It's clear that for some portion of the fanbase (I don't know how to estimate the size, but I'll assume it's underrepresented on this board), the Mookie trade was a "before and after" event. Nothing short of winning the world series is going to remove the stink. It's tedious to rehash it every few weeks, but it has at least made it clear to me that some fans view this as something more than an unpopular decision by management -- they view it as a sin.
 

teddywingman

Looks like Zach Galifianakis
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2009
10,300
a basement on the hill
It's clear that for some portion of the fanbase (I don't know how to estimate the size, but I'll assume it's underrepresented on this board), the Mookie trade was a "before and after" event. Nothing short of winning the world series is going to remove the stink. It's tedious to rehash it every few weeks, but it has at least made it clear to me that some fans view this as something more than an unpopular decision by management -- they view it as a sin.
On top of Jon Lester. Fuck yes it is
 

JOBU

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 22, 2021
5,594
It’s crazy to me how much people have dug their heels in on this topic as I’ve always understood both sides. I do have a question for the people who think not resigning was 100% a tragedy: but what’s the tenor of this board if this Sox did extend him at what he wanted, and then in the first full year after covid he misses 40 games and puts up a 4.2 WAR?

edit: just seeing your question @JOBU, it’s a fair point and one I’m not educated enough to address if I’m being honest
It would have been a lot easier to take if they moved on from Sale and kept Mookie. I understand why the Sox moved Mookie. They couldn’t afford him because of contracts given to Eovaldi, Sale, etc. The problem I have is it never should have gotten to that point. The Red Sox new his contract was coming up and chose to allocate the money elsewhere… essentially tying their hands when it came time to pay up. That in my mind is a colossal failure on their part.

I was so pissed I wrote a letter and actually mailed my Mookie jersey back to the team. I wasn’t sure how else to voice my displeasure. Juvenile?? Maybe a bit, but it made me feel a hell of a lot better.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,583
South Dartmouth, MA
It would have been a lot easier to take if they moved on from Sale and kept Mookie. I understand why the Sox moved Mookie. They couldn’t afford him because of contracts given to Eovaldi, Sale, etc. The problem I have is it never should have gotten to that point. The Red Sox new his contract was coming up and chose to allocate the money elsewhere… essentially tying their hands when it came tie to pay up. That in my mind is a colossal failure on their part.
In complete agreement with your entire statement fwiw.
I just feel like we’d (the collective version) would have been ripping the FO and/or mookie after his 2021season for overpaying a guy near 30 whose best days are behind him. Now, based on this year, we would’ve been wrong. It was just a thought exercise running through my head so figured I’d pose it here as well
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
On top of Jon Lester. Fuck yes it is
Since they traded Jon Lester, they won the World Series once, went to the ALCS another time, and the playoffs two times other than that. Their payroll has remained among the league leaders every year. And the guy they turned Jon Lester into won a Cy Young Award, helped them win the aforementioned World Series and wasn't a whole lot worse than Lester overall (1.6 WAR per year vs 2.0 WAR per year), for less money and a shorter commitment.
 

JOBU

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 22, 2021
5,594
In complete agreement with your entire statement fwiw.
I just feel like we’d (the collective version) would have been ripping the FO and/or mookie after his 2021season for overpaying a guy near 30 whose best days are behind him. Now, based on this year, we would’ve been wrong. It was just a thought exercise running through my head so figured I’d pose it here as well
I’m sure many fans would. I probably would have questioned it at least. But I would have enjoyed every moment of watching him play.

I think most fandom goes well beyond numbers on a stat sheet. Is it required to have likable players? No. I can only speak for myself but it makes rooting for the team more enjoyable. Good numbers help. Being likable helps too. Why do fans hate Tanner Houck yet love Brock Holt? It’s not because of their on field performance. Players aren’t going to have career years every year. I’d rather root for good guys like Mookie and Brock (etc) in down years than prickly players like Sale and Houck when they are putting up a career year.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Experiencing Furry Panic
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Since they traded Jon Lester, they won the World Series once, went to the ALCS another time, and the playoffs two times other than that. Their payroll has remained among the league leaders every year. And the guy they turned Jon Lester into won a Cy Young Award, helped them win the aforementioned World Series and wasn't a whole lot worse than Lester overall (1.6 WAR per year vs 2.0 WAR per year), for less money and a shorter commitment.
Yes, but BINKIES!!
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,583
South Dartmouth, MA
I’m sure many fans would. I probably would have questioned it at least. But I would have enjoyed every moment of watching him play.

I think most fandom goes well beyond numbers on a stat sheet. Is it required to have likable players? No. I can only speak for myself but it makes rooting for the team more enjoyable. Good numbers help. Being likable helps too. Why do fans hate Tanner Houck yet love Brock Holt? It’s not because of their on field performance. Players aren’t going to have career years every year. I’d rather root for good guys like Mookie and Brock (etc) in down years than prickly players like Sale and Houck when they are putting up a career year.
Upthread I said that I would’ve overpaid Betts. Though I wasn’t entirely sure why. As I’ve gotten older (41 now) I just care about sports way less than I used to. And I’m struggling to latch onto teams/players the way I used to. But I think your post kind of nails why I would’ve overpaid him - he was just fun to watch. And sports, at its heart, is supposed to be entertaining.
 

kieckeredinthehead

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2006
8,277
It's clear that for some portion of the fanbase (I don't know how to estimate the size, but I'll assume it's underrepresented on this board), the Mookie trade was a "before and after" event. Nothing short of winning the world series is going to remove the stink. It's tedious to rehash it every few weeks, but it has at least made it clear to me that some fans view this as something more than an unpopular decision by management -- they view it as a sin.
From 2000-2018, I watched or listened to almost every inning of every Red Sox game. Since they traded Mookie, I haven’t watched a single one from beginning to end. I understand why they “had to” do it, but it ended up being the last straw (among all the other problems the game faces) that cratered my interest. For some reason reading about Chris Sale falling off his bike doesn’t quite do it for me.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
I understand liking players and being disappointed when they leave, even if it's a move than makes sense for the club. I loved watching Mookie. But do people really want a player's popularity and/or home grown status playing a meaningful role in the decision of how much $$$ to offer them?
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,583
South Dartmouth, MA
I understand liking players and being disappointed when they leave, even if it's a move than makes sense for the club. I loved watching Mookie. But do people really want a player's popularity and/or home grown status playing a meaningful role in the decision of how much $$$ to offer them?
For the most part no. It’s obviously not a good way to run a team.
But I also don’t think treating every player as only the stats on a page is great either? In certain, very special situations, I think those other things should matter to a small degree. Since he was brought up a few posts ago, Lester is a guy who was very popular and homegrown, and quite good…and i was completely fine with them really only looking at the numbers. Mookie is someone who jumped out as a tad extra special and should’ve been looked at a bit differently.
I’ll also add that it hasn’t changed anything with regards to my love or dedication to the Red Sox whatsoever. That has changed across the spectrum of sports for me.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
8,008
Kernersville, NC
From 2000-2018, I watched or listened to almost every inning of every Red Sox game. Since they traded Mookie, I haven’t watched a single one from beginning to end. I understand why they “had to” do it, but it ended up being the last straw (among all the other problems the game faces) that cratered my interest. For some reason reading about Chris Sale falling off his bike doesn’t quite do it for me.
What kept you from watching/listening in 2019?
 

Seels

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,524
NH
The logical extension of this is that they should always be the highest bidder,
They absolutely should have been the highest bidder here. They aren't the Pirates.

To be honest it's a grudge I'll hold against this team as long as the current FO/Ownership is with it. Was obvious he was a special player in 2015, and a generational player in 2016. That they lowballed him the same way they did Lester just a couple years just taints the team in ways that can't be stated enough for me.

It's clear that for some portion of the fanbase (I don't know how to estimate the size, but I'll assume it's underrepresented on this board), the Mookie trade was a "before and after" event. Nothing short of winning the world series is going to remove the stink. It's tedious to rehash it every few weeks, but it has at least made it clear to me that some fans view this as something more than an unpopular decision by management -- they view it as a sin.
It's a sin. It absolutely broke the way I viewed the team in a way that not even a World Series is fixing. The only way they fix this is by showing commitment to signing their superstars, and given the Devers situation, it's clearly not something they intend on changing.

Winning doesn't cure all ails. If that were the case, why not just be a bandwagon fan of whatever team is good at the moment?
 
Last edited:

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,643
I don’t know why everyone is always so dogmatic about this. It seems pretty likely to me that there’s a non-public reason or reasons Mookie preferred to sign long-term in a place like Los Angeles over Boston, his comments about loving it here notwithstanding, and that both parties have kept those private out of professional courtesy.

Their baseball teams aside, there are a lot of differences between Los Angeles and Boston.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
12,425
I was very convinced Mookie's best days were behind him....

In 2018, 10.9 WAR in 136 games with a .346/.438/.640/1.078 line was going to be tough to top. Of course, there is room to go down from that and be the yearly MVP candidate and Hall of Famer that he is.

Living in LA, I enjoy watching Mookie play and am glad he ended up here (if he had to leave Boston). Having said that, it's a major embarrassment for the Red Sox that he isn't still a franchise cornerstone.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
10,655
So painful. It's a disgrace he's not still here.

And to think of all the posters here who assured me that his best days were well behind him...
I mean, he isn't going to reach either of his 2 best years in Boston, and he'll almost certainly never be even close to having another year like 2018 so they are. That doesn't mean that right now he isn't still very good.

There were plenty of people who said his defense would diminish, his declining speed would rob him of hits and value on the basepaths, that 2018 was an outlier and he was really good, not great, etc...
And they were right, his defense has diminished by a lot
 
Last edited:

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
11,778
It is my understanding that the Dodgers deal was below what Mookie wanted before the trade. COVID changed the equation.

Had the Red Sox not traded him and he been part of the team in 2020 then we can talk. Edit to clarify, if Mookie had been a Red Sox in 2020 and then did not sign with the Sox.

While I do believe the Sox should have given Mookie whatever he wanted (he is a generational talent and was drafted and developed by Boston, that has value) it is not my (or our money) and in the end management made their decision.

What upsets me more is that these deals do not usually pan out. Had the Sox gotten an uber prospect in exchange then maybe it would hurt less.
What Boston got was roughly $50 million. Which was (again) basically the extent of what the Dodgers were willing to give up for one year of Mookie. Boston fought for a high upside prospect, but LA wouldn’t include any that weren’t a lottery ticket. And that lottery ticket didn’t win.
 
Last edited:

teddywingman

Looks like Zach Galifianakis
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2009
10,300
a basement on the hill
I mentioned Lester for two reasons. One is that I was recently back in Massachusetts and coincidentally, 8 of my best friends-- the guys I grew up with--were getting together for a fantasy football draft.

When Mookie came up, Lester also came up. These guys know way more about sports across the board than I do, and also spend serious money going to games. They pretty much all said that they're done with the Sox after Mookie. Lester should have been here for life too (which was echoed by two uncles during the same week).

It isn't just stats to the average fan, or even the extremely knowledgeable fans.

"But they won a world series and replacement player was only .4 WAR less valuable per year." That doesn't cut it.

I understand that some people don't care as much about specific players and the results matter more, especially among those of us focused on analysis. But it sucks when you have less Red Sox talk with friends and family because they've stopped following. At least we all have each other here.
 

runnels3

Member
SoSH Member
You’re really still pissed about Lester?

I mean, I get it. The team probably screwed up with him. But if my dad can get over Fisk and Lynn, I feel like we should be able to get over Jon Freaking Lester.
Ain't happenin' - This dad isn't over Earl Freaking Wilson. I mean can you imagine, a Lonborg-Wilson tandem in '67? Of course this scenario was not about $$, but race. Anyway, I digress.
 

Jungleland

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2009
2,110
It's clear that for some portion of the fanbase (I don't know how to estimate the size, but I'll assume it's underrepresented on this board), the Mookie trade was a "before and after" event. Nothing short of winning the world series is going to remove the stink. It's tedious to rehash it every few weeks, but it has at least made it clear to me that some fans view this as something more than an unpopular decision by management -- they view it as a sin.
Yeah, that's where I am. And I even get why they did it as I said upthread when this came up earlier in the summer, so I guess sin is strong, but on an emotional level I'm not really past that. They are by far my least favorite of the 4 big Boston teams now and I would have said that at this time last year, too. I'm still tangentially interested in the long term, I'm on board with the general direction of rebuilding the farm, but the trade absolutely obliterated my positive feelings for the team in a way I've never experienced in sports before. Joe Thornton for Marco Sturm to an exponential degree.

I honestly think from a business perspective, they'd be in a better place right now had they just taken it to free agency and lost him, but maybe I'm projecting. I don't think Downs, Wong, and Verdugo really move the needle for the angry fan.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
SoSH Member
Mar 17, 2004
1,671
I don’t know why everyone is always so dogmatic about this. It seems pretty likely to me that there’s a non-public reason or reasons Mookie preferred to sign long-term in a place like Los Angeles over Boston, his comments about loving it here notwithstanding, and that both parties have kept those private out of professional courtesy.

Their baseball teams aside, there are a lot of differences between Los Angeles and Boston.
Agreed. I also think that we’re seeing a different attitude among modern athletes. They appear to be a lot more comfortable exercising their own preferences, and some of the aspects of a professional athlete’s life that never got questioned, now seem on the table for some to quibble over.

Just a guess, but I wonder if it was difficult for a generally quiet, soft-spoken guy like Mookie to adjust to the intensity of the baseball obsession in a place like New England? Obviously, he is still a mega star in LA, but I have a feeling it has a very different flavor. With a more culturally diverse environment, the general more laid-back attitude, and the fact that there is so much other celebrity going on everywhere in LA, I wonder if he is able to be more anonymous or just blend in.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
When Mookie came up, Lester also came up. These guys know way more about sports across the board than I do, and also spend serious money going to games. They pretty much all said that they're done with the Sox after Mookie. Lester should have been here for life too (which was echoed by two uncles during the same week).
"We have to be the highest bidder on this player, no matter where the price goes" is a reckless mentality that no successful organization holds. Everyone has a price they will not cross. The Braves let Freddie Freeman go and are 33 games over .500. The Dodgers let Max Scherzer and Kenley Jansen go and they are in first place over the Big Splashy Move Padres by 20.5 games. The Cardinals let their home-grown, 3 -time MVP first ballot HOFer walk in 2011 and went to the NLCS the following 3 years. Tampa never re-signs their guys and are on pace to win 90+ games for the 5th straight year (if we prorate 2020). If you keep saying "this guy is different, we will go over our price just this one time", that's how you end up like the Rangers and Angels. It does mean watching popular players go, but when it comes to roster building, I want my front office to be ruthlessly efficient.
 
Last edited:

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
24,414
Newton
We are going to do this until the Red Sox prove they can win a World Series after trading him. Not one second sooner.

If the Sox decided they couldn't live with Mookie's contract, then it's on them and them alone to prove they can spend that money better. So far they have failed. Miserably.
They proved they can get to two games of the World Series, does that not count for anything? Also, as has been noted: Mookie was nothing special in the postseasons with the Red Sox, SSS or not. So let's not assume that he would've made the difference against the Astros last year.

Listen, I get all the reasons people are mad Mookie is gone. It doesn't make sense on the face of it based on what we know. And certainly, this is kind of a "It's always darkest before it is permanently black" moment for Bloom given how badly this season ended up going. But suggesting that they might not recover from dealing Mookie is foolish. This team has managed to win four World Series this century without ever once having given a franchise cornerstone a contract for life.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
They proved they can get to two games of the World Series, does that not count for anything? Also, as has been noted: Mookie was nothing special in the postseasons with the Red Sox, SSS or not. So let's not assume that he would've made the difference against the Astros last year.

Listen, I get all the reasons people are mad Mookie is gone. It doesn't make sense on the face of it based on what we know. And certainly, this is kind of a "It's always darkest before it is permanently black" moment for Bloom given how badly this season ended up going. But suggesting that they might not recover from dealing Mookie is foolish. This team has managed to win four World Series this century without ever once having given a franchise cornerstone a contract for life.
Earlier in this thread a poster dismissed the fact that they won a World Series post Jon Lester, so I think they'd have to win 10 in a row to satisfy the "but Mookie Betts" contingent. They need to meet every single player's every demand, or they are not committed to winning.
 

tbb345

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
4,820
"We have to be the highest bidder on this player, no matter where the price goes" is a reckless mentality that no successful organization holds. Everyone has a price they will not cross. The Braves let Freddie Freeman go and are 33 games over .500. The Dodgers let Max Scherzer and Kenley Jansen go and they are in first place over the Big Splashy Move Padres by 20.5 games. The Cardinals let their home-grown, 3 -time MVP first ballot HOFer walk in 2011 and went to the NLCS the following 3 years. Tampa never re-signs their guys and are on pace to win 90+ games for the 5th straight year (if we prorate 2020). If you keep saying "this guy is different, we will go over our price just this one time", that's how you end up like the Rangers and Angels. It does mean watching popular players go, but when it comes to roster building, I want my front office to be ruthlessly efficient.
Isn’t this kind of ignoring the fact that they overpaid Chris Sale on a contract that they absolutely didn’t need to give him?

My issue with trading Mookie is that they essentially gave Mookie’s money to Sale, which not only alienates the average fan but it also isnt a move that any of the “ruthlessly efficient” or smart front offices would have made. If ownership knew that it was basically a one or the other scenario then they should have put their foot down and made Dombrowski wait (especially since they ended up firing him fairly shortly thereafter).

The 10,000 foot view of this is that a team like the Red Sox, with how much they charge for tickets and how much revenue they make, should never trade their homegrown superstars because of money issues. That’s really simplistic and ignores context but that’s something that people will always go back to.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,943
Isn’t this kind of ignoring the fact that they overpaid Chris Sale on a contract that they absolutely didn’t need to give him?

My issue with trading Mookie is that they essentially gave Mookie’s money to Sale, which not only alienates the average fan but it also isnt a move that any of the “ruthlessly efficient” or smart front offices would have made. If ownership knew that it was basically a one or the other scenario then they should have put their foot down and made Dombrowski wait (especially since they ended up firing him fairly shortly thereafter).

The 10,000 foot view of this is that a team like the Red Sox, with how much they charge for tickets and how much revenue they make, should never trade their homegrown superstars because of money issues. That’s really simplistic and ignores context but that’s something that people will always go back to.
Yeah, they're not perfect. Even without the benefit of hindsight, Chris Sale's deal was a mistake, I thought so at the time. (It was also a different front office than the one that traded Mookie.)

But to your point, I've always thought the Sox would not have minded paying Mookie in the short term, they just didn't want to go out to 2032. As bad as it was, I don't think the Chris Sale deal stopped them from signing/extending Mookie Betts.