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Jim Rice: Mookie Betts Didn't Want to Leave Boston

Mookie Betts traded to Dodgers
Mookie Betts traded to Dodgers | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Mookie Betts was traded to the Dodgers in a blockbuster deal last night. This morning, I wrote that Boston fans should be infuriated. This will only add fuel to the fire.

Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great Jim Rice said he spoke to Betts the night the trade went down, and Betts said he never wanted to leave Boston:

This is complicated to process given the lack of information the public has received as far as how any potential negotiations had gone between Betts and the Red Sox. The only rumor with any sort of merit out there is from WEEI's Lou Merloni, who said Boston offered Betts $300 million over 10 years last offseason, and Betts countered with $420 million over 12 years.

If that report is true and Betts refused to budge on his $420 million benchmark, then this quote comes across as a bit disingenuous. If he really didn't want to go anywhere else, then he would have worked to find a middle ground with the Red Sox.

Of course, it takes two to tango. It's just as likely that Boston wouldn't budge from their own initial offer even if Betts was willing to meet somewhere in the middle. In which case, this quote should shatter the heart of Boston fans.

Either way, I have no doubt we'll be seeing similar leaks from both sides in the months leading up to the season. The war of public perception wages eternally.