Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

By Matt McCarthy,

There is a very real possibility the Red Sox will trade Mookie Betts this offseason, but it’s unclear what type of return they could get for the reigning American League MVP.

Betts is entering his final year before free agency and will likely command somewhere close to $30 million for the 2020 season in salary arbitration. Keeping that in mind, it’s fair to wonder if the financial commitment teams would have to make to Betts for one year and potentially beyond might scare off some suitors.

SNY’s Matthew Cerrone talked to a variety of sources around baseball and reported that should the Red Sox look to trade Betts this offseason, they would want a mix of major league players and prospects in return.

“I’m told Boston will need to replace [Betts] in the lineup, add an affordable, team-controlled, mid-rotation starter and bring in at least two top-100 prospects,” Cerrone reported.

It’s unclear if that type of offer would be on the table, but Cerrone highlighted a handful of teams that people around the game believe would kick the tires on a Betts trade.

“In addition to the Padres, Braves, Cardinals and Astros, league insiders say the Mets, Reds, Nationals and Brewers could be teams capable of putting together an appealing package for Betts,” Cerrone said.

It seems almost certain that the Red Sox will at least field offers for Betts, but Cerrone reported those he talked to around baseball still expect Betts to play in Boston next season.

“I spoke with one Boston source, two rival executives, and a player agent. All said they expect Betts to be on the Red Sox next season, regardless of [J.D.] Martinez’s contract status,” Cerrone wrote.

Perhaps the most important factor in the decision to trade or keep Betts has not been determined yet: who the Red Sox new general manager will be. The team has given little indication on a timetable for filling that vacancy.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.