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Author Topic: Red Sox Trade Betts + Price To The Dodgers  (Read 6036 times)

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Online jambr380

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Dodgers fans certainly don't seem very happy with the alteration to the deal so at least we can take comfort in that. I had seen Downs' name bounce around as a possibility weeks ago - glad the Sox were able to seemingly improve upon the original deal.

https://www.truebluela.com/2020/2/9/21130635/dodgers-mookie-betts-trade-red-sox-david-price
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 10:17:35 PM by jambr380 »

Offline Phantom255x

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This trade is WAY better than the first one given Graterol's medicals (and the fact that he's had TJS once + is projected to be a late inning reliever at best). Graterol can actually help the Dodgers so I think they like getting him back even as a reliever as opposed to the Sox who wanted him if he was capable of starting (which he seemingly isn't).

That said, I'm shocked they didn't get any pitcher back in this deal. I had hoped we could do Verdugo + 1 of Ruiz/Downs + 1 of Gonsolin/Gray. Downs has upside and is a Top-50 prospect in all of baseball. Connor Wong is solid and could help us with catcher depth. But still, wish we could have gotten back 1 of Gray/Gonsolin.
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Offline hwangjini_1

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Finalized.

Quote
Mookie Betts is finally going to Los Angeles. Sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan that a deal has been agreed upon to send the 2018 MVP to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package that includes outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong going to the Boston Red Sox.
Unreal. These two prospects are about as average as average gets. There is nothing special about either.

So former MVP, 4 time All-Star, 4 time Gold Glover, 3 time Silver Slugger and World Champion at 27 years old

Plus

A former Cy Young, five time All-Star, a pitcher with a 150-80 overall record and a World Champion

Plus

$50 million

For one good prospect and two average ones, all three with very limited upside.

Nice job Sox.
not at all nick, not at all. these two prospects (Downs & Wong) are better than most Sox prospects. Downs is one of the better prospects in all of baseball. here is some info on them...

8. Jeter Downs, SS
DOB: 7/27/1998
Height/Weight: 5’11” / 180 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 32nd overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2017 draft, Monsignor Edward Pace HS (Miami, FL), signed for $1,822,500.
Previous Ranking(s): #12 (Org)
2019 Stats: .269/.354/.507, 19 HR, 23 SB in 107 games for High-A Rancho Cucamonga; .333/.429/.688, 5 HR, 1 SB in 12 games for Double-A Tulsa

The Report: The second prospect coming back to the sunshine state for Yasiel Puig last winter, Downs showed a solid power-and-speed combination from the shortstop position in his age-20 season. He led the California League with 33 doubles, then continued to rake during a cameo at Double-A, tying off his season with a three-homer game in the Texas League playoffs. After a pull-happy first half, Downs made adjustments to better utilize the opposite field in the second half, and both the hit and game power tools flourished. There isn’t really a carrying tool in the offensive toolbag; he’s got a decent approach and there’s solid-average pop, but he stills cuts off the outer half too often. He’s an above-average runner whose instincts play amplify his baserunning skill and should allow him to continue stealing bases at a solid clip. Defensively, the athletic 5-foot-10 middle infielder has good mobility and receptive hands, along with a 50-grade arm that is reasonable enough to cut it at the six, if not ideal for the role. It’s more comfortable as a second base projection, but he should be able to stay up the middle and add occasional shortstop utility. The bat will lead him to the big leagues, however, and while the Dodgers’ depth may delay Downs’ debut, he should be scratching at the major league door by 2021.

OFP: 55 / Sum-of-parts middle infielder with potential to produce above-average value

Variance: Medium-to-High.The bat-to-ball consistency will dictate whether he’s a toolsy bench asset or an everyday contributor. —Brandon Williams

Major league ETA: 2021

Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Downs might actually be a better dynasty prospect than an IRL one thanks to his power and speed combo. That being said, I’m lower on him than some of my dynasty-loving colleagues, as I think he has utility infielder written all over him if he stays in this org. Downs is more interesting than most players with this profile because of the potential for modest contributions in every category but average. Even so, the upside remains fairly modest.

16. Connor Wong, C (Double-A Tulsa)

Wong has interesting physical and defensive profiles that offset some severe flaws enough to make him a fun wildcard in the system. The right/right catcher is 23 and just finished terrorizing Double-A in a short 40-game stint after spending the better part of two seasons at High-A.

Wong has excellent coordination that allows him to make hard line drive contact consistently, but the combination of an extreme arm bar, aggressive approach, and trouble recognizing breaking balls lead to outlandishly high strikeout rates that threaten to derail the offensive profile. The arm bar helps him generate power, but it also creates huge holes up and on the inner third. He’s athletic enough to bet on an ability to integrate mechanical changes, but there’s work ahead.

Defensively, Wong has solid hands behind the plate, and while he doesn’t always have a smooth path to the ball, he performs well enough vertically and on the edges of the zone to add some value with his receiving. He has good footwork on blocks and a quick transition out of the crouch, which helps an average arm to play. The organization has flirted with second- and third-base reps for him, as well.

Wong currently projects to a tandem catching role at the major league level if he can shorten up the upper half of his swing and continue to bring his pop into games against experienced arms. —Kevin Carter



please check out this thread on SoSH:

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/betts-price-to-la-for-alex-verdugo-jeter-downs-and-connor-wong.29611/

there are some excellent posts and analyses going on there. plus, the trade was about more than the prospects. here is a quote from SoSH....

Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Nick ... read the thread, really. even if your mind is not changed, it will make you see the entire deal in a different light and you will understand it more fully.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:19:41 PM by hwangjini_1 »
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Offline Roy H.

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Quote
Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Counterpoint:

Mookie proposed long-term contracts the past two off-seasons that were less than he’s likely to get in free agency.  The Sox low-balled him relative to his value.  He didn’t insist on free agency, he just wanted to be paid appropriately (north of Harper, south of Trout)

The three prospects, if everything goes well, are an above-average outfielder, a decent second baseman, and a backup catcher.  It’s likely that at least one won’t reach their potential.

The Sox are paying $16 million per year for a player not on their roster.

You don’t get many impact players for $20 per season, and regardless, there’s no salary cap. The Sox make $50 - $75 million in profit every year, before accounting for NESN, and they’re raising ticket prices.  Even if the Sox had gone $40 million over the tax line — which they wouldn’t have — their first rounder would have moved down ten spots.  If they’d stayed within $40 million of the tax line (a certainty), there would be no draft pick penalty.

27 year old MVP.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:32:58 PM by Roy H. »
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Offline hwangjini_1

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Quote
Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Counterpoint:

Mookie proposed long-term contracts the past two off-seasons that were less than he’s likely to get in free agency.  The Sox low-balled him relative to his value.

The three prospects, if everything goes well, are an above-average outfielder, a decent second baseman, and a backup catcher.  It’s likely that at least one won’t reach their potential.

The Sox are paying $16 million per year for a player not on their roster.

You don’t get many impact players for $20 per season, and regardless, there’s no salary cap. The Sox make $50 - $75 million in profit every year, before accounting for NESN, and they’re raising ticket prices.  Even if the Sox had gone $40 million over the tax line — which they wouldn’t have — their first rounder would have moved down ten spots.  If they’d stayed within $40 million of the tax line (a certainty), there would be no draft pick penalty.
not the full story roy. the sox had also proposed a pair of 10 year contracts to him for around $30 million per.

plus, mookie made it clear that he wanted to go to free agency regardless of any sox offer. remember back to arbitration.

if the sox management had to change the past, they might rethink the offers to JD and Eovaldi.
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Offline Roy H.

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Quote
Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Counterpoint:

Mookie proposed long-term contracts the past two off-seasons that were less than he’s likely to get in free agency.  The Sox low-balled him relative to his value.

The three prospects, if everything goes well, are an above-average outfielder, a decent second baseman, and a backup catcher.  It’s likely that at least one won’t reach their potential.

The Sox are paying $16 million per year for a player not on their roster.

You don’t get many impact players for $20 per season, and regardless, there’s no salary cap. The Sox make $50 - $75 million in profit every year, before accounting for NESN, and they’re raising ticket prices.  Even if the Sox had gone $40 million over the tax line — which they wouldn’t have — their first rounder would have moved down ten spots.  If they’d stayed within $40 million of the tax line (a certainty), there would be no draft pick penalty.
not the full story roy. the sox had also proposed a pair of 10 year contracts to him for around $30 million per.

plus, mookie made it clear that he wanted to go to free agency regardless of any sox offer. remember back to arbitration.

Why would Mookie take $30 million? He’s worth that in arbitration. 

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/rankings/

Mookie asked for $35 million per year over 12 years.  We surely could have gotten him for 11 years, $375 million. The Sox simply low-balled him.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 07:47:18 PM by Roy H. »
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Offline BitterJim

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Finalized.

Quote
Mookie Betts is finally going to Los Angeles. Sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan that a deal has been agreed upon to send the 2018 MVP to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package that includes outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong going to the Boston Red Sox.
Unreal. These two prospects are about as average as average gets. There is nothing special about either.

So former MVP, 4 time All-Star, 4 time Gold Glover, 3 time Silver Slugger and World Champion at 27 years old

Plus

A former Cy Young, five time All-Star, a pitcher with a 150-80 overall record and a World Champion

Plus

$50 million

For one good prospect and two average ones, all three with very limited upside.

Nice job Sox.
not at all nick, not at all. these two prospects (Downs & Wong) are better than most Sox prospects. Downs is one of the better prospects in all of baseball. here is some info on them...

8. Jeter Downs, SS
DOB: 7/27/1998
Height/Weight: 5’11” / 180 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 32nd overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2017 draft, Monsignor Edward Pace HS (Miami, FL), signed for $1,822,500.
Previous Ranking(s): #12 (Org)
2019 Stats: .269/.354/.507, 19 HR, 23 SB in 107 games for High-A Rancho Cucamonga; .333/.429/.688, 5 HR, 1 SB in 12 games for Double-A Tulsa

The Report: The second prospect coming back to the sunshine state for Yasiel Puig last winter, Downs showed a solid power-and-speed combination from the shortstop position in his age-20 season. He led the California League with 33 doubles, then continued to rake during a cameo at Double-A, tying off his season with a three-homer game in the Texas League playoffs. After a pull-happy first half, Downs made adjustments to better utilize the opposite field in the second half, and both the hit and game power tools flourished. There isn’t really a carrying tool in the offensive toolbag; he’s got a decent approach and there’s solid-average pop, but he stills cuts off the outer half too often. He’s an above-average runner whose instincts play amplify his baserunning skill and should allow him to continue stealing bases at a solid clip. Defensively, the athletic 5-foot-10 middle infielder has good mobility and receptive hands, along with a 50-grade arm that is reasonable enough to cut it at the six, if not ideal for the role. It’s more comfortable as a second base projection, but he should be able to stay up the middle and add occasional shortstop utility. The bat will lead him to the big leagues, however, and while the Dodgers’ depth may delay Downs’ debut, he should be scratching at the major league door by 2021.

OFP: 55 / Sum-of-parts middle infielder with potential to produce above-average value

Variance: Medium-to-High.The bat-to-ball consistency will dictate whether he’s a toolsy bench asset or an everyday contributor. —Brandon Williams

Major league ETA: 2021

Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Downs might actually be a better dynasty prospect than an IRL one thanks to his power and speed combo. That being said, I’m lower on him than some of my dynasty-loving colleagues, as I think he has utility infielder written all over him if he stays in this org. Downs is more interesting than most players with this profile because of the potential for modest contributions in every category but average. Even so, the upside remains fairly modest.

16. Connor Wong, C (Double-A Tulsa)

Wong has interesting physical and defensive profiles that offset some severe flaws enough to make him a fun wildcard in the system. The right/right catcher is 23 and just finished terrorizing Double-A in a short 40-game stint after spending the better part of two seasons at High-A.

Wong has excellent coordination that allows him to make hard line drive contact consistently, but the combination of an extreme arm bar, aggressive approach, and trouble recognizing breaking balls lead to outlandishly high strikeout rates that threaten to derail the offensive profile. The arm bar helps him generate power, but it also creates huge holes up and on the inner third. He’s athletic enough to bet on an ability to integrate mechanical changes, but there’s work ahead.

Defensively, Wong has solid hands behind the plate, and while he doesn’t always have a smooth path to the ball, he performs well enough vertically and on the edges of the zone to add some value with his receiving. He has good footwork on blocks and a quick transition out of the crouch, which helps an average arm to play. The organization has flirted with second- and third-base reps for him, as well.

Wong currently projects to a tandem catching role at the major league level if he can shorten up the upper half of his swing and continue to bring his pop into games against experienced arms. —Kevin Carter



please check out this thread on SoSH:

https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/betts-price-to-la-for-alex-verdugo-jeter-downs-and-connor-wong.29611/

there are some excellent posts and analyses going on there. plus, the trade was about more than the prospects. here is a quote from SoSH....

Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Nick ... read the thread, really. even if your mind is not changed, it will make you see the entire deal in a different light and you will understand it more fully.

That says more about the current state of our farm system than it does about the prospects we got.

I can guarantee that the combination of the cap space and prospects we got in this deal will have nowhere near the impact that Betts would over the next 10 years, or the 10 years after that. The team was too afraid of either paying him big money or having him leave for nothing, so instead they traded him for nothing

The organization had their reasons for making this deal, but that doesn't mean that the reasons were good ones.
I'm bitter.

Offline Vermont Green

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There is no way to win in this.  I don't know if the 12 year/$420M offer was real or not but I can understand the Sox not wanting to pay that if in fact that was a deal that could have gotten it done.

So the Sox could not trade him and people howl about how they got nothing when he walked.  You can trade him for cents on the dollar as they did and cut their losses.  Or they could sign him to this alleged deal, likely an overpay they would regret at some point in the 12 years.

I don't know what is the best thing to do.  I feel this middle path is a balance of risk and reward, playing it safe, keeping their options.  They lose Mookie (no small loss) but get a few decent prospects while creating financial flexibility to do some things in the coming years, something they wouldn't have if they signed Mookie.

I get the thinking behind this.  We'll see how it turns out.  I will say that I am not outraged by this.  It is a tough situation.

Offline CaNdyMaN1369

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There is no way to win in this.  I don't know if the 12 year/$420M offer was real or not but I can understand the Sox not wanting to pay that if in fact that was a deal that could have gotten it done.

So the Sox could not trade him and people howl about how they got nothing when he walked.  You can trade him for cents on the dollar as they did and cut their losses.  Or they could sign him to this alleged deal, likely an overpay they would regret at some point in the 12 years.

I don't know what is the best thing to do.  I feel this middle path is a balance of risk and reward, playing it safe, keeping their options.  They lose Mookie (no small loss) but get a few decent prospects while creating financial flexibility to do some things in the coming years, something they wouldn't have if they signed Mookie.

I get the thinking behind this.  We'll see how it turns out.  I will say that I am not outraged by this.  It is a tough situation.

I agree Completely...            TP...

Re: Red Sox Trade Betts + Price To The Dodgers
« Reply #99 on: February 13, 2020, 09:39:33 AM »

Offline Fafnir

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So Green/Candy you're truly okay with never paying an elite position player a big contract as fans of the Red Sox who are a huge revenue team? Because if the standard is "has to be as good as Trout", that means never.

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2020/2/13/21135658/mookie-betts-boston-red-sox-trade-los-angeles-dodgers-david-price-math-mythbusting

God bless cheap ownership behaving like they're cellar dwellers or the freaking Royals.

Sad thing is my beloved Cubs wanted to do the same with Kris Bryant but perhaps couldn't find a taker due to his injury history. (or saw the crappy offers and said no thanks)


Re: Red Sox Trade Betts + Price To The Dodgers
« Reply #100 on: February 13, 2020, 10:23:54 AM »

Offline BringToughnessBack

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Internally, I have been struggling with this trade. So, instead of competing for a Series in 2020 and showing we are committed to one of the best homegrown players we have seen in decades, we simply trade him and a strong 1-2 pitcher for a bag of hope. This supposedly to reset the tax and save the owners millions for this year. We are one year removed from one of the best seasons we have ever had. Not having a closer last year cost us many games and it seemed this could be an easy fix if we truly were committed to winning in 20. I guess we will never know.

Yes, it is possible Betts told the Sox not only will he test the FA market, but perhaps he inferred that he would never resign with the Sox no matter what. We just dont know but is it not better for a chance at one more Series vs a simple dump and hope it works out in the end? Can you imagine if the Celtics would have traded Pierce or Bird? We have seen the Bruins dump some of their top line star players over the years and usually, that did not work out well initially as well. How about dumping Brady years back to get under a cap?

Yes, we could make this all right at the end of this season with a full on press to resign Betts and bring him back to Boston...only in that scenario could we turn this wrong into a right....I doubt this will happen though as he will have one full year to enjoy Los Angeles and most likely, win another Series with them. If anything, why not trade him somewhere he might not love so much.

So, 2020 is a rebuild take a step back year. We still have no closer...now we have no number 1-2 pitcher, 81 wins is likely scenario barring some huge improvements from our young future stars. We have a manager that appears to be stop gap as well and the Yankees have a clear path to the Series to face Betts and the Dodgers....Bummer

On a different note, it is hard to fault the owners for these past two decades.....4 World Series Wins out of 4 attempts is far more then I ever thought I would enjoy in my lifetime. We have truly become spoiled but even with all this, I am still left to wonder is one year of savings worth punting our immediate future and if a 5th Series win could have been in the cards for us this coming year.

Re: Red Sox Trade Betts + Price To The Dodgers
« Reply #101 on: February 15, 2020, 04:57:11 AM »

Online ozgod

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Jayson Stark from The Athletic had a piece about this a few days ago, about the financial ramifications of the trade. He claims that, if the Sox had not made moves to get under the tax but had instead continued spending, Dombrowski style, a 12-year $400m Betts contract could potentially turn into $714m with the tax over 12 years. But if they re-sign Mookie next year in free agency having reset the tax, they would save $30m on the first 2 years of the $400m Betts deal alone.

I'll post it in full as it's behind a paywall, interested to hear everyone's thoughts on his math and his assumptions (I'll leave it for everyone to decide if they are realistic or not).

Quote
Stark: Doing the math on the ‘competitive balance tax,’ and the Red Sox’ motivation to trade Mookie Betts

By Jayson Stark Feb 10, 2020 362

I never wanted to be Alan Greenspan when I grew up. I never wanted to work for H & R Block. I never even wanted to fill out my own tax return myself.

I enjoy writing more than write-offs. And I’m pretty sure most of you relate to that, unless you’re an actuary or something.

But there’s one tax in the world I do know a few things about. Believe it or not, I know enough about baseball’s Competitive Balance Tax, more often called the luxury tax, to understand exactly why the Red Sox were convinced it was worth their while to trade Mookie Betts and David Price. I can sum it up this way for you:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I’ve done that math. I even ran it past people in baseball who work with this tax every day. And I can tell you that trading those two guys, and dipping under the tax threshold, could easily be worth hundreds of millions in savings off future tax bills. But…

I can also tell you that, in the midst of writing this piece, I spent the weekend in Boston, to attend Peter Gammons’ fantastic Hot Stove Cool Music charity concert. So as a side benefit, I got to experience all the local Mookie Furor pretty much 24/7. Let’s just say it was hard to miss. There was one song, for instance – at Friday’s Hot Stove Jam – that was dedicated to “whoever the eff decided it was a good idea to trade Mookie.”

So do I expect anyone in New England to read all this and understand that making that trade was actually a brilliant and inspired idea, for tax reasons? Hahahahaha. No fan would, or should, ever care about that, because that isn’t any fan’s problem.

Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t reason to lay out just how many dollars were at stake here, because, well, are you familiar with the importance of money in modern American life and sports?

I needed a lot of dollar signs above because the Red Sox potentially wouldn’t just be saving a little money on their luxury-tax bill in this deal. We’re talking about millions and millions and millions more than your average fan might realize – without doing the math, anyway. And that’s why I’m here.

So I’m now going to try my best to explain exactly where those dollars would come from. I promise I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.

About that threshold
Here’s the first thing you should know: There isn’t just one luxury-tax threshold. Not anymore. There are three. That was a wrinkle that came out of the last labor deal. And if you’ve been asking why teams like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox have all been more motivated to dodge those tax thresholds lately than your average hitter is to dodge an Aroldis Chapman fastball, that’s why. These are the tax rates:

First threshold: $208 million
Tax rate: 20-50%

Second threshold: $228 million
Tax rate: 62%

Third threshold: $248 million
Tax rate: 92.5-95%

So how exactly does this affect the Red Sox? Read on.

The alternative Red Sox universe
Say the Red Sox had decided to keep both Betts and Price. According to FanGraphs’ Roster Resource, they were headed for an estimated payroll of about $235 million, for Competitive Balance Tax purposes. That was down slightly from the $242-million payroll they finished last season with, but still the highest payroll in baseball.

So they were going to be over the first two thresholds without this trade. And even a modest acquisition would have elevated them over all three thresholds. Hello, 95-percent land!

But now let’s go all sci-fi and venture into an alternative universe. Let’s say the Red Sox were not just hanging onto Betts and Price, but still going all in, in a Dave Dombrowski kind of way. Let’s say they’d gone out this winter and signed Zack Wheeler for the same deal he signed with the Phillies – five years, $118 million.

That contract works out to an average salary of $23.6 million a year, right? Now add that $23.6 million to the $235 million payroll they would have had in our keep-Mookie universe. And what do you have? You have a $258.6-million payroll.

So what happens to payrolls that high? I just laid that out for you. They zoom above every threshold in the baseball cosmos. And here’s how that would affect the cost of Zack Wheeler:

When you add in all the taxes the Red Sox would be subject to, that $118-million deal turns into nearly a $185 million deal – because just the taxes add another $67 million! So what’s the actual cost of Zack Wheeler in our alternative universe? Let’s use this fun comparison:

AAV* of Zack Wheeler: $37 million per year
AAV of Gerrit Cole’s Yankees contract: $36 million per year
(*tax-adjusted AAV)

That’s a little misleading because the Cole deal will force the Yankees to pay a tax bill, too. But you get the idea. In our alternative universe, the Red Sox wouldn’t be paying Wheeler third-starter money. They’d be paying him Cy Young Waiting to Happen money. So file that away.

The alternative Mookie-signs-forever universe
But wait. There’s more to our fun little baseball tax seminar. There’s the What If They Signed Mookie portion of the seminar coming right up.

So here are the alternative-universe Red Sox, over all three tax thresholds. Now let’s say that next winter, they decide to sign a free agent named Mookie Betts and give him, oh, Mike Trout money. Just for “fun,” we’ll project that they sign him for 10 years, $400 million. Now they’re way over all three thresholds, so they’re subject to a tax rate that peaks at 95 percent.

Add in all the taxes they’d be on the hook for, and that $400 million contract could turn into a $714-million contract – if it pushed them above all three thresholds for the duration of the contract. Ever seen a $71-million-a-year baseball player? You’d see one in Mookie under that scenario. Just so you know, that’s $10 million more than the average annual salaries of Trout and Bryce Harper put together.

So get the picture? When you circle the earth in the Perpetual Third Tax Threshold orbit, and you sign that superstar you just can’t lose, you could find yourself paying more than $300 million in tax bills simply for the right to keep him – and your great team around him.

Now let’s count the savings
Remember, all that was in our alternative universes. Now let’s look at what the Red Sox could very realistically save just because of this trade, in this universe – all because this trade would allow them to slip under the $208-million threshold.

By dipping beneath the threshold even for one year, the Red Sox fulfill their accountants’ greatest dream: They reset their tax rate.

It resets from 50 percent to 20 percent. And if you do that math, that’s some serious cash they’re saving. Let’s lay it out for you.

Because they hit that reset button, their tax rate on that imaginary Betts deal next winter would be only 20 percent instead of 50 percent, at least in the first year. And that’s without even calculating the tax bills from all those other tax brackets.

So if they’re in the 20-percent bracket, they would save over $20 million on Mookie’s deal in the first year alone. Then, even though their rate could rise to 30 percent the following year, they’d still save another $10 million in Year 2 of the contract. Their tax in the following years would depend on where their payroll is and what the rules look like. Nevertheless, that $30-million savings is pretty much a lock.

But remember, in our alternative universe, they didn’t just sign Mookie. They also signed Wheeler — and they’d be saving about $67 million in taxes on his contract, too. So what’s the windfall from showing the discipline to trade Betts and Price, as opposed to keeping them both and signing somebody like Wheeler? By our math, this adds up to about a $97-million discipline deduction.

Plus the Red Sox would get to hang on to multiple draft picks and millions in international signing money. So there’s even more value attached to this decision.

But what if they were to, say, find a way to trade Chris Sale or J.D. Martinez in the next year and then sign Mookie to that $400-million Powerball ticket? Now they might be under the threshold again, even with his salary. And if Chaim Bloom then does what he was hired to do and works his creative magic, allowing them to stay under the threshold permanently, they could save all $314 million of the potential tax bill on the Betts contract alone. That’s more than the 2019 payrolls of the Indians, A’s and Rays combined.

These are large numbers, ladies and gentlemen. And you don’t have to be a C.P.A. to see that.

So does that help ease any Bostonian’s pain?
All right, now that we have all that out of the way, how long has it been since I mentioned that no Red Sox fan will, or should, give two W-2s about any of that? Being a fan involves a whole different form of investment, one of shared, powerful emotion. So there’s no reason for any fan to put aside that emotion at a time like this to dispassionately dissect the dollar signs at stake.

But those fans might also want to know that inside most baseball front offices, people get this deal and the reasoning behind it. They see a team that wasn’t going to be better than the Yankees this year and knew it. They see a team that needed to upgrade its stockpile of young players in whatever way it could. And their understanding of the enormous tax benefits of getting under the threshold means they laugh at the names being hurled at Red Sox ownership.

“I know people are taking shots at them for being cheap,” said an executive of one contender. “This has nothing to do with being cheap. You look at their payroll and where it was leading, and you can’t operate like that. So they had to find a way to get under that threshold. And the only way to get under is: Trade Mookie Betts.”

So there you go. It wasn’t my intent here to justify why the Red Sox would want to trade Mookie — merely to explain it. You don’t have to agree with it. I don’t expect you to agree with it. But do you at least get it now?

Why did the Red Sox believe it was worth their while to trade away their man Mookie – and David Price to boot? It’s simple.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ always talks.

https://theathletic.com/1596793/2020/02/10/stark-doing-the-math-on-the-competitive-balance-tax-and-the-red-sox-motivation-to-trade-mookie-betts/
Any odd typos are because I suck at typing on an iPhone :D

Re: Red Sox Trade Betts + Price To The Dodgers
« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2020, 08:32:34 AM »

Offline Redz

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Craziness.

Where does all the tax money go?
Yup

Offline JBcat

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Trading Mookie who has clearly demonstrated going to Free Agency was priority #1 resulted in:

- Alex Verdugo, 23 year OF, 5 years of control, .800+ OPS potential
- Jeter Downs, SS/2B, Top 50 MLB prospect, power-hitting middle infielder, 5+ years of control
- Connor Wong, C, solid prospect (#27 in Dodgers system), probably best C prospect now in Sox system (and likely top 10 overall in Sox system)
- Getting out of David Price 3 years, $96 million commitment -- taking on $48 million instead over 3 years
- Getting below the luxury tax line -- saves $$$, draft picks, and international slot signing $
- Roughly $20 million in "cap space" to go after another 1-2 impact players for 2020

Counterpoint:

Mookie proposed long-term contracts the past two off-seasons that were less than he’s likely to get in free agency.  The Sox low-balled him relative to his value.

The three prospects, if everything goes well, are an above-average outfielder, a decent second baseman, and a backup catcher.  It’s likely that at least one won’t reach their potential.

The Sox are paying $16 million per year for a player not on their roster.

You don’t get many impact players for $20 per season, and regardless, there’s no salary cap. The Sox make $50 - $75 million in profit every year, before accounting for NESN, and they’re raising ticket prices.  Even if the Sox had gone $40 million over the tax line — which they wouldn’t have — their first rounder would have moved down ten spots.  If they’d stayed within $40 million of the tax line (a certainty), there would be no draft pick penalty.
not the full story roy. the sox had also proposed a pair of 10 year contracts to him for around $30 million per.

plus, mookie made it clear that he wanted to go to free agency regardless of any sox offer. remember back to arbitration.

Why would Mookie take $30 million? He’s worth that in arbitration. 

https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/rankings/

Mookie asked for $35 million per year over 12 years.  We surely could have gotten him for 11 years, $375 million. The Sox simply low-balled him.

I love Mookie but that is a huge risk paying him until he is 39.   Look at someone like Boegarts.   He was much more willing to work with the Sox, and his type of deal benefits both sides because of the opt outs if he really crushes it and that the Sox were protected by not having a very lengthy deal(I would not be surprised at all too if by the end of this year he has better stats than Betts).  I wonder if the Sox had proposed to Betts with a high AAV for say a 7 or 8 year deal with opt outs.

Devers is going to be an interesting case as he is very close to Boegarts and if he will follow his lead, or be hell bent getting every last penny going to FA.

So many of these very long term contracts in baseball turn into disasters on the back nine of them it’s risky.