Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom always will be remembered as the executive who traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But it sounds like the Red Sox were well aware of the Dodgers’ interest in the superstar outfielder — and perhaps even engaged in trade talks with Los Angeles — long before Bloom’s arrival in Boston.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman revealed Wednesday during a news conference that he discussed trading for Betts back in July when Dave Dombrowski was in charge of Boston’s baseball operations department. According to Friedman, the Red Sox stopped those discussions after going on a winning streak before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
Andrew Friedman said he discussed trading for Mookie Betts with Dave Dombrowski last July. Asked if they made progress, Friedman said the Red Sox won a bunch of games in a row and the Red Sox stopped the discussions.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 12, 2020
The rest, as they say, is history.
The Red Sox, who won three games in a row in late July before then suffering an eight-game losing streak, stumbled to an 84-78 finish. They parted ways with Dombrowski in September, hired Bloom in October and traded Betts on Monday.
Bloom reiterated Thursday during an appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” that he didn’t expect to trade Betts this offseason, instead pulling the trigger only after the Dodgers came to him with a deal he couldn’t refuse, but it’s clear Friedman long coveted the four-time All-Star.
“He literally can do everything so well,” Friedman said of Betts, according to The Athletic. “It puts him in rarefied air in terms of position players. Most can impact the game in different ways. The fact that he can in every aspect is something we’ve admired a lot from afar.”
The Red Sox ultimately received outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong in exchange for Betts and David Price. It’s unclear what the Dodgers were willing to offer in July — or whether negotiations even reached a point where names were floated — but it’ll be interesting to see how Betts performs with his new team and how he’ll approach his impending free agency after being traded from the organization that drafted him in 2011.
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