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Mookie Betts trade: Dodgers acquire four-time All-Star, get even better

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For the Red Sox, the Mookie Betts deal is not about baseball so much as it is about money, and theoretical flexibility, and the values of the franchise. For the Dodgers, it’s much more straightforward: One of baseball’s best teams has decided that it’s worth it to get even better.

The Dodgers’ position at the start of the offseason was both deeply enviable and anything but. On one hand, they were fresh off their seventh consecutive division title; on the other, the seventh consecutive division title tends to carry a lot of pressure when none of those seven has resulted in a championship. The winter moved forward with an appropriate sense of urgency. There was early talk that they could be a potential contender for any of the top three free agents. Eventually, there was a serious offer to Gerrit Cole. But January turned to February, the market cleared out, and the Dodgers were set to enter the next season much as they’d left the last one.

Enter the Red Sox, and their desire to shed some salary.

If the deal is made official as it’s been reported, L.A. will get Betts and David Price in exchange for Alex Verdugo (to Boston) and Kenta Maeda (to Minnesota). The Dodgers should receive one year of a stellar generational talent, plus three years of a solid pitcher while preserving all the crown jewels of their loaded farm system. Red Sox fans have plenty of reason to be frustrated. Dodgers fans? Rejoice.

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