The Los Angeles Dodgers landed Mookie Betts (and David Price) last night in a blockbuster deal with the Boston Red Sox (and Minnesota Twins). How does the Dodgers’ move affect the balance of power in the National League? Where do the defending World Series champ Washington Nationals stand in the NL and NL East right now? Is Kris Bryant the next big name to get dealt this winter? Will the Nats get involved? Go read your links...
Dodgers land Betts, Price from Red Sox (reports)
"The Dodgers on Tuesday landed the game-changer they’ve been seeking all winter and then some, acquiring outfielder Mookie Betts plus starting pitcher David Price from the Red Sox in a three-team deal that sends outfielder Alex Verdugo to Boston and pitcher Kenta Maeda to Minnesota, according to multiple reports."
A wounded team has a much-needed spark, a devastated city has renewed hope. The Dodgers have acquired Mookie Betts, representing the most "right now" move of the Andrew Friedman era. He might be precisely what this team, and its city, needs. ... https://t.co/TFzPnJftJP— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) February 5, 2020
Rosenthal: Mookie Betts still has his eye on free agency, even if a trade changes the equation – (The Athletic)
"The Red Sox had perhaps only an outside chance to overcome the Yankees and Rays this season if they had kept Betts, and now that chance becomes almost minuscule."
Nationals bring back the ‘Go 1-0 every day’ approach, but is it sustainable? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Faced with long odds to salvage their season and make the playoffs, Martinez soon after sent a message to his players: Go 1-0 every day."
Juan Soto says playing in All-Star Game would be a ‘dream’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Soto was also asked if he’d play in the Home Run Derby if invited but neglected to give any indication to his leanings."
Nats hope improved depth leads to improved bullpen - (MASN)
"We know the Nationals bullpen was terrible last season. That’s not news to anyone. How bad was it, though? And, more importantly, why was it so bad?"
Carter Kieboom, Nationals' top prospect, expected to be talk of spring training - (Washington Times)
Juan Soto arrived in 2018 and became a National League Rookie of the Year finalist. Victor Robles became an everyday big-league outfielder in 2019. Next up to the plate: Carter Kieboom?
Baseball America Nats No. 9 prospect: SS Yasel Antuna - (MASN)
"Baseball America Nationals correspondent Lacy Lusk says Antuna came along originally with the highly touted Luis Garcia before injuries slowed his growth. Antuna was signed on July 2, 2016, the same day as Garcia."
David Price Would Offer Dodgers More Name Recognition Than Certainty - (Fangraphs)
"Last year, the Dodgers had by far the NL’s best rotation in terms of ERA and FIP, though they finished behind the Nationals — whose starters ranked second in both categories — in WAR, because the Washington workhorses threw significantly more innings..."
MLB needs to act on issue of Cubs, Kris Bryant dispute - (Sports Illustrated)
"Noticeably, that labor agreement was reached more than a year after the Cubs had generated intense controversy by starting Bryant in Triple A (and long after the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros had arguably manipulated the service times of Bryce Harper and George Springer, respectively)."
So Which Pro Sports Teams Have The Longest Title Droughts Now? - (Forbes)
"The Washington Nationals began play in 1969 as the Montreal Expos, but the wait in Washington for a baseball title had been a killer, since the 1924 Washington Senators, long gone to Minnesota, were the last team from the city to win it all in baseball."
Everything you need to know to find the best deals to see the Nats at Spring Training - (WJLA)
"For those of you who can't wait to throw on your curly W, sit in the sun and watch the World Series champion Washington Nationals take the field again, you don't have to wait much longer."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies agree with RHP Swarzak (source) - (MLB.com)
"Free-agent right-hander Anthony Swarzak will be joining his ninth team, agreeing to a Minor League deal with the Phillies, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Tuesday night."
Marlins, Sean Rodríguez agree to deal (source) - (MLB.com)
"Rodríguez will compete for a roster spot as a super-utility player. In 2019 with the Phillies, the 34-year-old played every position except catcher. He even pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings over two appearances."
NL East preview: Can the Braves repeat as champs? - (AJC.com)
"Last season was an eventful one for the East. The Braves led most of the way en route to 97 wins, fortifying their status among the NL elite."
Steve Cohen’s Deal For Mets Reportedly In Trouble; These 3 Questions Will Dictate What Happens Next - (Forbes)
"This is what the Wilpons do. There’s no deal they can’t try to stretch the limits of good faith on, no version of events they don’t think they can improve, even when circumstances are already in their favor."