David Price empathizes with Sox fans lamenting Mookie trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It's been eight months since the blockbuster trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, but time hasn't healed all wounds in Boston.
In fact, Red Sox fans are lamenting the Betts trade now more than ever as they watch the superstar outfielder shine on baseball's biggest stage.
Betts was the star of Tuesday night's World Series Game 1 for the Dodgers vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. The 2018 MVP went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two stolen bases, and his performance brought Boston's controversial trade back to the forefront.
David Price, who also was shipped to L.A. in the deal, understands what many Red Sox fans are going through. The left-hander empathized with his former fanbase on The Athletic’s Starkville podcast with Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville.
“For Boston fans, I think that is a tough pill to swallow,” Price said. "To have a player like Mookie Betts and to trade him away, that’s tough."
For comparison sake, Stark brought up the Red Sox's infamous 1920 Babe Ruth trade to the New York Yankees. Price sees the similarities.
“I understand that,” Price said. “Mookie is that good, period. That’s just not something you expect to happen with an organization like Boston. You expect a player like Mookie to be there for forever. That wasn’t the way it happened and that wasn’t the way it happened with Babe Ruth. And it is remembered daily.”
While the Betts deal is one Red Sox ownership may never live down, there was one bright spot in Alex Verdugo. The 24-year-old was the centerpiece of the trade for Boston and did not disappoint, hitting .308/.367/.478 with six home runs during the 2020 campaign.
Price credited Verdugo for his smooth adjustment to Boston as Betts' replacement.
“To switch leagues, to go from L.A. to Boston where the weather is very different and for him to have that first year he had facing pitchers he had probably never faced before or seen a whole lot of video on, that really speaks volumes on the type of hitter and the type of player he is,” Price said.
“The few times I did get to see him play on TV, he brings that energy. I think Boston is going to love him and that part of it. Because of that positive energy he brings, the way he plays, he’s a hard-nosed player and he’s trying to help the team win. I think Boston will really rally around that.”
Betts signed a 12-year contract extension with the L.A. in July, so Sox fans better get used to the sight of him in Dodger blue. As for Price, he'll wait until 2021 to make his Dodgers debut after opting out of the 2020 season.