By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have finally struck a deal, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
After suspect medicals and additional demands held this deal (which originally went down on Tuesday) up, the Red Sox agreed to new framework of a deal to send outfielder Mookie Betts and starter David Price to the Dodgers by acquiring outfielder Alex Verdugo, infielder Jeter Downs, and catcher Connor Wong from Los Angeles.
The Dodgers will still cover half of the remaining $96 million Price is due over the next three years in this reworked trade, too.
Verdugo, of course, was part of the original deal, and will come to the Red Sox following a 2019 season that included 13 home runs, 44 RBIs, and a .294 average in 106 games for the Dodgers. The 23-year-old Verdugo, who has appeared in 158 games with the Dodgers over the last three seasons, is trying to come back from a back injury that ended his 2019 campaign.
Downs, meanwhile, is a 21-year-old infielder who ranked 44th on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects list for 2020.
The Colombia-born Downs spent the bulk of his 2019 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Class-A Advanced), where he hit 19 homers and totaled 75 RBIs and posted a .862 OPS in 107 contests. Downs also hit .333 with five home runs and 11 runs batted in over a 12-game run with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate Tulsa Drillers.
(And yes, he’s named after New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, in case you’re wondering.)
Then there’s Wong.
Drafted by the Dodgers with a third round pick in 2017, Wong hit .349 with a .997 OPS in 40 contests for the Drillers in 2019. The 23-year-old, who was blocked in the L.A. pipeline by Keibert Ruiz (the No. 73 ranked prospect in baseball), Wong showed some solid pop during that Double-A run, with nine blasts and nine doubles along with 31 RBIs over that 40-game sample.
Betts leaves the Sox organization after emerging as one of the best players in all of baseball over his six-season run in Boston. As the face of the Sox, Betts was a four-time All Star, captured three Silver Slugger Awards, won four Gold Glove wins, and won both the American League MVP and American League batting title during a 2018 season that ended with a World Series.
Price, on the other hand, makes his exit from Boston with a 46-24 record and 3.48 ERA in four seasons with the Red Sox. One of the more polarizing Boston athletes in recent memory, Price proved to be a crucial option for the Sox as both a starter and bullpen arm during their 2018 run, but also fell out of favor with many due to some off-field drama with Dennis Eckersley.
Dreaded words here, I know but the deal is now pending positive medical reports and MLB signing off on the cash exchanged.