The trade rumors surrounding Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts are heating up as spring training approaches, with a new report suggesting that the St. Louis Cardinals could be a particularly motivated trade partner.
The MLB All-Star is reportedly on the trade block with several teams showing interest, but a new team could be emerging as a major contender. As Mike Axisa of CBS Sports noted, the Cardinals could use Betts to get them over the hump after falling flat in the NLCS in a four-game sweep. Axisa noted that St. Louis is in need of more offense — especially as the team scored the fewest runs among postseason teams last year — and Betts could be the right fit to turn the bats around.
“Betts is an elite offensive talent who provides power, gets on base, doesn’t strike out much, and runs the bases extremely well,” he wrote.
“He is an all-around impact player with no glaring weakness, and the Cardinals need a little of everything he brings to the table. As it stands, their offense looks a little underwhelming because it was underwhelming last year. Mookie would help correct that.”
He added that the Cardinals will also need to start thinking ahead about replacing catcher Yadier Molina, who said he plans to play two more seasons but saw his offensive output drop as he hit his late 30s. Betts could more than make up for the offensive production.
It’s not clear if the Cardinals actually intend to get in on the Betts bidding, but they would likely have some stiff competition. As ESPN reported, both the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers are seen as the frontrunners and both appear motivated to land the man who is considered the second-best position player in the majors behind Mike Trout. There are also no clear reports yet on who exactly the Red Sox would be asking in return, but it would likely be significant given the immediate impact Betts could have for any of the trade partners.
Betts could have a tremendous impact on the Cardinals compared to other contenders, Axisa noted. The Cardinals were able to win the division with 93 wins last year and it appears that the division will be weak again in 2020, so the addition of Betts could help the Cardinals cement their status as division favorites. With no other NL Central teams making significant moves, the addition of Betts could put the Cardinals over the top, he wrote.