LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Mookie Betts, the 2018 American League Most Valuable Player, and left-handed pitcher David Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo, minor league infielder Jeter Downs and minor league catcher Connor Wong.
Betts, 27, joins the Dodgers after spending the last six seasons with Boston. In 794 games with Boston, he hit a combined .301 (965-for-3203) with 139 homers and 470 RBI, while being named an All-Star four straight years (2016-19) and winning four Gold Glove Awards (2016-19), three Silver Slugger Awards ('16, 18-19) and the 2018 Most Valuable Player Award. In his MVP campaign, the Tennessee native hit .346 (180-for-520) with 32 homers and 80 RBI while leading the league in WAR (10.4) and coming in second in OPS (1.078).
Last season, he hit .295 (176-for-597) with 29 homers and 80 RBI in 150 games while finishing first in the American League amongst right fielders in defensive runs saved (20). He finished fifth in the AL in OBP (.391) and 11th in OPS (.915) while leading AL right fielders with 10 outfield assists. He was originally drafted in the fifth round (173rd overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of John Everton High School (TN).
Price, 34, joins the Dodgers after spending the last four seasons with the Red Sox. The 12-year MLB veteran went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA (51 ER/107.1 IP) and 128 strikeouts in 22 starts for the Red Sox last season. Prior to joining the Red Sox as a free agent in 2016, Price posted a career best 20-5 record with a 2.56 ERA (60 ER/211.0 IP) and 205 strikeouts against 59 walks and winning the 2012 Cy Young Award. The 5x All-Star, Cy Young Award winner and Two-Time ERA Leader (2012, 2015) is a combined 150-80 with a 3.31 ERA (746 ER/2029.2 IP) and 1,981 strikeouts against 527 walks in 321 games (311 starts) in his 12-year career. He was originally the first overall pick of the 2007 First Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.
Both teams spent the weekend finding another way to complete the deal that put Betts in Dodgers blue while allowing Boston to get under the collective bargaining tax threshold in 2020. The 2018 World Series champions will save tens of millions of dollars this season in salary and penalties, but at the expense of one of the best players in baseball.
The Dodgers made the official announcement late Monday afternoon.
The deal reportedly impacted another MLB transaction.
According to The Athletic, a trade which would have sent Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson to the L.A. Angels in exchange for infielder Luis Rengifo has been canceled, partly due to the reworked Mookie trade.
Los Angeles has won seven straight NL West titles, averaging more than 100 wins over the past three seasons, but has only a pair of NL pennants to show for it, twice losing in the World Series to teams that were later accused of cheating. With Betts and Price, the Dodgers have what they hope will be the final pieces they need to win their first Series since 1988.
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