Remember that time the Miami Marlins were willing to trade anybody — including Giancarlo Stanton or Hanley Ramirez — for a prospect named Mookie Betts?
If not, that’s OK. Allow us to explain.
Betts has evolved into a perennial MVP candidate for the Boston Red Sox since entering the majors in 2014 and Miami eventually traded Stanton to the New York Yankees this past offseason, but former Marlins president David Samson revealed Wednesday he once tried desperately to land the superstar outfielder.
“Certainly from an insider standpoint. This is a guy we tried to get from the Red Sox. We tried to get him for anyone,” Samson, now an analyst for CBS Sports, said while discussing whether Betts is appreciated enough across Major League Baseball. “When we were looking with Hanley or with Stanton or with anybody — any way to get Betts — and he was just untouchable.”
Samson, who served as Marlins president from 2002 until September 2017, didn’t reveal when exactly the Red Sox rejected his trade offers, but some deductive reasoning suggests Miami probably approached Boston about the idea around 2014.
Betts broke out in the minors in 2013 — causing his prospect value to soar — and made his big league debut in 2014, at which point he enjoyed immediate success. Stanton, meanwhile, was the subject of trade rumors until signing a 13-year, $325 million extension in November 2014.
Then again, it’s possible the Marlins had their eyes on Betts — a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 — even before he started to make waves in the Red Sox system. Samson mentioned dangling Ramirez — now Betts’ teammate in Boston — in a trade offer, yet the Marlins shipped him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July 2012.
Either way, the Red Sox weren’t interested in parting ways with Betts despite the allure of adding Stanton, who was a proven commodity at the time. And it’s worked out quite well for the Red Sox — even if Stanton bounces back from his rough start with the Yankees — because Betts continues to cement himself as Boston’s best player and one of the best all-around talents in MLB.