Los Angeles Dodgers: Why LA had to make the Mookie Betts trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made two blockbuster trades with the Boston Red Sox in the past 12 years and made it three by trading for Mookie Betts.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off the move of the off-season in a three-team trade sending Alex Verdugo to the Boston Red Sox and Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins to acquire a pitching prospect to get Mookie Betts and David Price.

Essentially the Dodgers are bringing in the 2018 AL MVP to pair with their 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger in the outfield for Verdugo and taking on the Price contract. The contract is likely to be reduced with the Red Sox paying off half of it.

Coupled with the move that sends Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Los Angeles Angels, the Dodgers have done what they promised would happen in the off-season: a restructured roster.

The move should also quiet critics who felt that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was too timid (or financially hamstrung) from making a big move to get the Dodgers the elusive World Series title.

Here are three reasons Friedman had and the Dodgers had to make the Betts trade.

IT’S MOOKIE FREAKIN BETTS!!!!

The Dodgers have required a player who, in five full Major League seasons, has been a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and finished in the top 10 in the MVP race four times, winning it in 2018 and winning a World Series in 2018.

These kinds of players don’t just fall into your lap every season. With the opportunity to get him, the Dodgers had to make that move. They now have a leadoff hitter who will make life miserable for starting pitchers who won’t be platooned and add an element the Dodgers don’t use, speed on the basepaths.

The Dodgers were already favored to get back to the postseason playing in a weak National League West but with Betts at the top of the lineup, they will be favored along with the New York Yankees to win a World Series.

The Cost

Throughout the offseason, any trade rumor involving the Dodgers for a topline player always included the Dodgers’ top prospects from their farm system.

When the details of the trade came through Dodgers fans must have been gobsmacked when they realized that not a single top-five prospect was going out. They held onto to their best pitching prospects in Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin and they held onto their top overall prospect, Gavin Lux.

All the Dodgers had to do was send Verdugo, who became superfluous in a crowded outfield and help the Red Sox with salary relief in the form of the David Price contract. Any general manager with half a brain makes this move every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Had to refresh the team

The Dodgers had to make the move because the roster needed to be remade. It would have been nice to see Pederson and Maeda help the Dodgers win a World Series in their time with the team but it never happened.

There was just no way the Dodgers could go into the season with the same guys who couldn’t get the team over the hump. Bringing in players with the talent of Betts and the veteran presence of Price refreshes the roster as they try to break their World Series drought.

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Now, manager Dave Roberts can pencil in Betts at the top of the lineup and Price every five days with a team better this morning than 24 hours ago. As a Los Angeles Dodgers fan, you couldn’t ask for a better deal.