Boston Red Sox

Aug 30, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) hits a two run home run during the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

If the Red Sox look to trade Mookie Betts this offseason, they might face a challenge finding suitors.

The Sox will need to find a team in win-now mode and with the financial resources to take on a $30 million salary for one year or a $300-plus million contract for the next 10 years. That’s not an impossible task, but it’s not the easiest hurdle for new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom to jump, either.

Here are five teams that could be a potential landing spot for Betts (all prospect rankings and write-ups from Baseball America):

Atlanta Braves:

The Braves could be the most logical fit for Betts. They are a young, talented team with a new stadium to fill. It’s World Series or bust for the Braves at this point following back-to-back disappointing NLDS exits. They have the prospect pool to deal from and should be able to take on payroll in 2020 and beyond.

Prospect report:

4th ranked system in baseball.

Top 100 prospects (6): OF Cristian Pache (14), RHP Ian Anderson (26), OF Drew Waters (30), RHP Kyle Wright (46), LHP Kyle Muller (63), RHP Bryse Wilson (74).

Baseball America system write-up:

The Braves’ depth isn’t what it used to be—this team has graduated a slew of impact major leaguers and it is reeling from MLB-imposed international sanctions. But the Braves’ remaining pitching prospects are still the envy of baseball, and Cristian Pache and Drew Waters gives the team a pair of potent outfield prospects as well.

Mar 17, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Cristian Pache (77) works out prior to the game at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers:

The Dodgers have come painfully close to winning the World Series in the last five years, only to fall short every single time. Their surprising five-game LDS exit this year should only embolden Andrew Friedman and company to be aggressive this offseason in an attempt to finally build a winner.

Betts could be the piece they’ve been looking for.

The Dodgers tried to sign Bryce Harper last year, but they weren’t willing to offer a 13-year contract. If they looked at Harper, wouldn’t they want to try to bring in a better player in Betts?

Prospect report:

5th ranked system in baseball.

Top 100 prospects (4): SS Gavin Lux (9), RHP Dustin May (25), C Keibert Ruiz (50), C Will Smith (54).

Baseball America system write-up:

The Dodgers seem to produce at least one franchise-caliber prospect each year. This year, shortstop Gavin Lux and righthander Dustin May are vying for that title. The team’s player development system does an excellent job of getting the most out of each player’s talent. 

Sep 25, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May (85) pitches in the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox:

The White Sox, too, were among the teams interested in Harper last year. They are coming out of a long rebuild and clearly feel the need to make a big splash to draw interest and fans to the South Side.

Prospect report:

3rd ranked system in baseball.

Top 100 prospects (5): OF Luis Robert (3), 1B Andrew Vaughn (22), RHP Dylan Cease (29), RHP Michael Kopech (31), 2B Nick Madrigal (57).

Baseball America system write-up:

Luis Robert’s exceptional bounceback from an injury-ruined 2018 season and the acquisition of Andrew Vaughn gives this team a pair of potential lineup cornerstones to join Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada on the White Sox teams of the early 2020s.

Nov 3, 2018; Surprise, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert during the Arizona Fall League-All Star Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies:

Some believed the Phillies goal all along was to sign Mike Trout to go with Bryce Harper, but that dream died last offseason when Trout signed his massive extension to stay in Anaheim.

Could the Phils now turn to Betts?

This is a franchise that is clearly trying to win now and is coming off a disappointing first year with Harper. They have the pieces to be a major contender in the National League and could be in the market for a centerfielder.

Prospect report:

25th ranked system in baseball

Top 100 prospects (2): 3B Alec Bohm (36), RHP Spencer Howard (67)

Baseball America system write-up:

As Philadelphia has flipped from rebuilding to contending, graduations and trades have pruned the farm system.

Jun 12, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first round draft pick Alec Bohm looks on during batting practice before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets:

The Mets don’t have the farm system to make this trade happen and would probably have to include one of their young starting pitchers just to rent Betts for a season, but never underestimate this franchise’s willingness to do something totally stupid.

Prospect report:

28th ranked system in baseball.

Top 100 prospects (2): SS Ronny Mauricio (61), SS Andres Gimenez (70).

Baseball America system write-up:

New York continues to tumble down the rankings after graduating slugging 1B Pete Alonso and then sacrificing LHP Anthony Kay and teenage RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson to add Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman, who is signed through 2020. Virtually all of the Mets’ prospect depth is now situated in the low minors.

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.

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