The Red Sox and MVP outfielder Mookie Betts are reportedly far apart in talks on a new contract, and there was speculation last month that the club would listen to trade offers for Betts in the coming offseason.
One former MLB general manager says he, too, would listen on Betts, just in case, but he wouldn’t want to move him if he were calling the shots.
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“I’m not trading him,” Dan O’Dowd told Adnan Virk and Scott Rogowsky on DAZN’s “ChangeUp” MLB program Friday night.
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“I’ve just done this job long enough to know that no matter how much talent you get back, you’re never going to get back the kind of player you’re trading,” O’Dowd added.
O’Dowd, who was the Rockies’ GM from 1999-2014, values Betts so highly that he would try to win a bidding war if he were in Sox president Dave Dombrowski’s shoes.
“My concern would be that if (Betts) hasn’t stepped up by now (to work out a new deal), he probably doesn’t want to stay there,” O’Dowd said. “But I’m running it out that even if he gets on the open market and he is chasing the last dollar, my last dollar in Boston is going to be higher than anybody else’s last dollar.
“If I was a small-market team or a mid-market team, (then) I’d look to move him. The Red Sox don’t fall into either of those categories.”
Betts is in line for a raise in arbitration next winter after making $20 million this season. He began Friday ninth in MLB with 5.7 fWAR.
O’Dowd would also re-sign Betts as part of a larger strategy to keep Boston’s homegrown nucleus intact.
“I’m trying to keep Betts together, (Andrew) Benintendi together, (Xander) Bogaerts together and (Rafael) Devers together,” he said. “I’m not breaking up that core.”