- I am kind of shocked of the size of this deal if the reports saying it’ll be $350-$400 million are true. That number, while absurd, sounded completely likely 6 months ago, but then when COVID cancelled sports for half the year a lot of people like baseball Hall of Famer Peter Gammons speculated this could tank the Free Agent market. A lot of teams are eating a lot of money and with no fans in attendance for the foreseeable future they will be eating a lot more. So a $400m deal seemed unlikely even for a free agent of Mookie’s stature. But then again it’s the Dodgers so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The Dodgers don’t know the meaning of fiscal responsibility. They are the Yankees of the mid 2000s without the actual success.
- I am still OK with the Mookie trade. I saw a ton of sad Sox fans on Twitter this morning as the rumors of the deal spread like wildfire, going so far as to compare it to losing Jon Lester. The Lester comparison is lazy and not even close to the same thing. Lester was an excellent, home grown, fan favorite and a reasonable guy by all accounts yet the Sox still lowballed the shit out of him with a $70m contract offer. He would rightfully so be insulted by the offer, get traded to Oakland, and then sign a 6-year $155 million deal with the Cubs. Thats the definition of misreading the market. With Mookie he is looking to reset the market and become the top 2 or 3 highest paid player of all-time. And the Sox have been offering him deals north of $200m for years, but the former MVP doesn’t want to take a penny less than top dollar. And thats fine! Get your money dude, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense for the Sox to just give Mookie a blank check.
- I seem to be in the minority around here, but I don’t think there is a shot in hell a $400m Mookie deal ages well. I love Mookie, I own a Mookie shirt, and he’s arguably the best homegrown prospect the Sox have produced since Roger Clemens. But, he’s also a 5’9″ 180 pound guy with massive up and down seasons on his resume. Over the last four seasons Mookie’s batting avg has been .318, .264, .346, .295. I know batting avg is an old guard stat, but even his WAR has been all over the place (9.5, 6.3, 10.6, 6.9). Those are still great numbers (Betts finished No. 8 in WAR for position players in 2019), but those variances would give me concern if I’m writing the check.
- For $400m you need to produce power consistently and to be honest you need to be built like a linebacker so I won’t worry about your body breaking down. Obviously you can never predict injuries and big guys are just as likely to break down (Mo Vaughn, A-Rod), but I have more faith in a big guy continuing to hit for power than I do in a 180 pounder hitting 30+ home runs a year into his late 30s. Mookie’s true value is in being a five tool player. He hits for average, power, steals bases, throws well, and plays elite defense, but 5 tool players rarely age well so while I love Mookie I’m not banking $400m on him being the same player in 2032 (!) that he is today.
- I’m not going to give John Henry and the Sox credit for this because they fell ass backwards into it, but with a 60 game season this year the Mookie trade looks even better. You’re essentially trading 2 months of a guy who was not going to resign here for promising big leaguer Alex Verdugo and a top prospect in Jeter Downs.
I know Big Z accuses me of being a prospect hoarder, but I’m playing the odds here and with arguably the worst pitching staff of my lifetime I don’t think the Sox were a threat to win it all this year anyways. Theo Epstein stepped on a hornets nest when he coined the term “bridge year,” but its true you can’t just pay everyone all the time without taking a step back every one in a while to retool and reload.