Against the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees batter Gary Sheffield, left, rounds third base after hitting a home run at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachuesetts on July 23, 2004. The Yankees won the game 8-7.
(Photo by J Rogash/Getty Images)

Ex-New York Met and New York Yankee Gary Sheffield gives his thoughts on the potential trade of Mookie Betts.

Former New York Met and New York Yankee Gary Sheffield spoke to TMZ on Monday about Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts. Trade talks involving Betts — who is currently one of the top players in baseball — have been occurring for months. Many believe the Red Sox will look to trade Betts instead of potentially just letting him walk when he becomes a free agent next year.

Sheffield noted that the Red Sox would be stupid to rid themselves of a player like that. Nonetheless, he said if Boston does end up trading him and sends him to the Los Angeles Dodgers — another one of Sheffield’s former teams — that could guarantee a World Series title for the National League powerhouse.

“Mookie is that guy that can be a difference-maker…a lot of teams have good offenses but, if you got a certain player in your lineup, he can take you over the top and [Betts] is that guy”, Sheffield said.

Over the course of his six-year career, Betts has a slash line of .301/.374/.519, an OPS of .893, and OPS+ of 134. He led the league in total bases in 2016 with 359. Betts additionally topped the league in runs in both 2018 (129) and 2019 (135). He also led the league in batting average and slugging in 2018 with .346 and .640, respectively.

Betts is a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and three-time Silver Slugger. He was the American League MVP in 2018 and has finished top-ten in MVP voting four times, including being the runner-up in 2016.

Sheffield is right. If Betts goes to the Dodgers, he will be taking an already-talented ballclub to the next level. In January, Betts signed a one-year, $27 million deal with the Red Sox to avoid arbitration. Even so, Boston is still likely to trade him.

Betts will enter free agency looking for a mega-deal, which he deserves. The Red Sox may not be willing to pay him what he wants. Therefore, they’ll look to benefit from his departure by trading him for prospects.

Sheffield spent three years in the Bronx, where he was a two-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger. He was also the runner-up in MVP voting in 2004. He spent the final year of his career with the Mets in 2009.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.