Chicago Cubs: J.D. Martinez may have just forced a Mookie Betts trade

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox each playing a balancing act

Last season, Chicago and Boston ranked third and first, respectively, in terms of payroll. Of course, neither team made the postseason and it’s prompted change within both organizations.

The Cubs moved on from future Hall of Fame manager Joe Maddon and have embarked on a drastic overhaul of their baseball operations team and many of the processes and systems in place. Meanwhile, the Red Sox fired Dave Dombrowski and lured Chaim Bloom from Tampa Bay to head up their baseball ops team.

Both organizations seem intent on focusing their efforts in building a winner – not buying one. But Boston’s reckoning may come a bit sooner than Chicago. Betts will hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2020 season – and his trade value likely won’t be higher than it is right now, with aa full year of control to offer.

While he didn’t replicate his MVP performance of 2018, the Gold Glove outfielder put together another impressive campaign. Betts appeared in 150 games, putting up a .391 on-base percentage and leading the league with 135 runs.

Any team would undoubtedly love to add a player of this caliber to the mix – but it will come at a steep cost. Not only are you adding an estimated $27.7 million in payroll, but you have to come up with a package that is enticing enough for Boston to come off their star outfielder.