The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signing of star outfielder Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox on Monday, sealing a blockbuster deal that had teetered close to collapse over the weekend.
Betts, the 2018 American League MVP, heads to Los Angeles along with former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher David Price and cash in a deal that sees three top Dodgers prospects head the other way.
Advertisements - Click the Speaker Icon for Audio
News of the deal had first emerged last week, with the Minnesota Twins also involved in the complicated transaction.
However the deal stalled after the Red Sox reviewed the medical records of Twins pitcher Brusdar Graterol, who had been due to move to Boston as part of horse-trading.
That forced the Dodgers into renegotiating with the Red Sox, agreeing to offload more prospects than they had originally intended to complete the signing of Betts and Price.
The Dodgers will send outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong to the Red Sox.
In a separate deal with the Twins, the Dodgers have sent Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda to Minnesota along with minor league catcher Jair Camargo.
In return, the Dodgers will now receive Twins pitcher Graterol, a draft pick, and outfielder Luke Raley.
Boston’s decision to trade away Betts has been met with outrage by Red Sox fans, angry that the club has allowed the 27-year-old to walk away from the franchise in the prime of his career rather than fight to retain him when he enters free agency in 2021.
Red Sox owner John W. Henry said in a statement on Monday the club understood the fans’ anguish.
“In trading a great player, a beloved player, we recognize how incredibly difficult this is for fans who fully understand just how special Mookie is,” Henry said.
“While the organization in its entirety very much wanted to see Mookie in a Red Sox uniform for the length of his career, we believe in this decision as we are responsible and accountable for both the present and the future of the Red Sox.
“We thank Mookie for his incredible contributions, both on and off the field.”