Making sense of Mookie Betts trade rumors can be a frustrating task. Betts is one of the best players in baseball, perhaps second-best to only Mike Trout. Every single team in baseball should love to have Mookie Betts on their team. A club competing for a playoff spot is even more ideal, or a team whose playoff odds without Betts are just so-so, but that with him head well north of 50%. It would also be helpful if that team had plentiful financial resources and could easily absorb Betts’ expensive (but still a bargain given the production) $27 million salary next season. The Boston Red Sox are basically the perfect for Mookie Betts, but they might trade him anyway.
Back in November, Ben Clemens made the case for the Red Sox keeping Betts, while I recently did a pro/con list for ESPN weighing the merits of trading four different stars, including Betts. Clemens focused on the baseball logic of the move, which revolves around getting worse now by trading Betts but improving in the future with the addition of prospects. Clemens shot through that argument by showing that Boston’s playoff chances over the next four seasons were actually worse by trading Betts for prospects….