With the news of J.D. Martinez choosing to not opt out of his contract, everyone has been left in suspense as to what the Boston Red Sox have planned for Mookie Betts’ future.
Where does he fit? Where does he go?
With the right package, Betts could be a proper fit in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Hitting mostly leadoff for the Red Sox, Betts had .391 on-base percentage while the Cardinals’ leadoff battled with a combined .308 OBP. (The Cardinals were ranked 29th in the majors.)
Trading names like Tyler O’Neill, Kolten Wong and Carlos Martinez could allow the organization to handle Betts’ $20-plus million salary — but the likes of John Mozeliak pulling off a blockbuster trade is unlikely as everyone has previously seen in years and at trade deadlines. (And to answer any questions, I do not see Kolten Wong going anywhere. He’s a staple in the Cardinals defense and now the proud owner of a Gold Glove.)
Would Mookie Betts be remotely interested in the playing for the St. Louis Cardinals?
Betts, 27, grew up in Nashville, Tennessee and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft with the 172nd overall pick. Betts subsequently rescinded his commitment to the University of Tennessee, signing a $750,000 contract with the Red Sox organization. He moved his way up into the majors by 2014, making his debut against the New York Yankees on June 29. His first career HR came off of the Chicago Cubs a week later on July 2, 2014. The rest was history.
In 2018, he became the first player in Major League history to win the Most Valuable Player, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, battling title, and a World Series in the same season.
For the 2019 season, Betts appeared in 150 games while batting .295 with 135 runs (leading the major leagues), 29 home runs and 80 RBIs. On defense in 2019, he had a 15 DRS rating and the best fielding percentage of all major league right fielders. (.997)
Additional information: His mother resides in Paducah, Kentucky (yes, my hometown) so playing in St. Louis would give him an opportunity to be close to family.