The Boston Red Sox ripped the hearts out of their passionate fanbase when they decided to trade one of the best players in all of baseball, outfielder Mookie Betts, to the Los Angeles Dodgers to get under the luxury tax threshold. The tragedy of it all was the fact that the Red Sox had several other players either on expensive deals or in line for a new contract that the team could've parted with via trade in order to achieve that goal.
If the front office focused on moving the contracts of these three players, Betts could still be a member of the Red Sox. Keep in mind, they certainly could've packaged Price in one of these hypothetical deals, considering offloading his contract was also a big part of the trade with LA.
3. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez
Every year from 2016 onward, Rodriguez has lowered his ERA, with a 2019 campaign that saw him post a 3.81 ERA serving as his finest to date. Rodriguez is currently in arbitration, and could be up for a major contract, potentially in the Zack Wheeler area, next year. Trading him along with Price instead of Betts could've also given the Red Sox that financial breathing room that was so important to them that they traded a transcendent superstar. E-Rod will make $9.5 million in 2020 and should get even more in his third year of arbitration eligibility in 2021.
2. OF Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley Jr., one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, showed that his power stroke is continuing to develop, as his 21 home runs last year were the second-highest total in his career. He's set to earn $11 million this year before he hits free agency in 2021, and would have been a perfect trade candidate, as such a deal would've saved the Red Sox higher-ups a few bucks while keeping the team competitive.
1. DH JD Martinez
Martinez is the only player on Boston's roster that's close to even being in the same stratosphere as Betts. A two-time All-Star in Boston who has hit over .300 each of the last two years while slamming 79 total home runs, Martinez created a lethal 1-2 punch with Betts. Without Betts on base, expect Martinez's RBI totals to take a bit of a turn southward. Sorry, JD. Looks like opting in was the wrong choice. You mean to tell us another AL team wasn't interested in acquiring one of the best bats in baseball for just over $60 million for the next three years? The Sox would've saved nearly $24 million this year alone by offloading Martinez.