It’s looking more and more like Mookie Betts will not be in a Red Sox jersey come Opening Day. Former teammate David Ortiz doesn’t see it going any other way.
“Here’s the thing,” Ortiz told NBC Boston. “My boy Mookie is at the stage of his career where he has to get what he deserves. The Red Sox, we have a very high payroll and I don’t think our owner wants to go past that.
“I trade him. I will get young talent [and] you will get whatever you want with Mookie. Unfortunately, that’s the baseball business.”
Boston’s 2020 payroll is projected to be $228 million. Moving Betts in exchange for prospects would move the franchise under the $204 million luxury-tax threshold, resetting its tax rate for the next year it goes over.
Ortiz was confident that the Red Sox front office would not be willing to take on the contract that Betts is likely seeking, reportedly in the $400 million range.
But according to Ortiz, Betts, who has enjoyed a decorated six-year tenure in Boston, is the most exciting player to watch in the league and someone the Red Sox would ideally not like to lose. However, Betts was always transparent about how he viewed his free agency and…