Red Sox owner acknowledges fan disappointment over Mookie trade
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry knows trading superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers wasn't the most popular move among the team's fan base.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, he explained the team's position while acknowledging the pain of losing a beloved player in the prime of their career.

"I grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals," Henry said. "My favorite player was Stan Musial. My heart would have broken if 'Stan the Man' had ever been traded - for any reason. Your parents or your grandparents surely felt the same way about Ted Williams and Yaz (Carl Yastrzemski).

"So, on one level, when I say I understand how many of you feel about this trade with the Dodgers, I know many of you - particularly our youngest fans - are disbelieving or angry or sad about it. I know it's difficult and disappointing."

Henry went on to compare the Betts trade - which also included left-hander David Price - to the time Boston dealt shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs in 2004.

He added that Betts' impending departure via free agency played a significant role in the difficult decision. Ownership ultimately felt that trading the 2018 AL MVP for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong was better than receiving a compensation pick next offseason if Betts' signed elsewhere after rejecting a qualifying offer.

Henry said he personally told Betts that he wanted him to spend his entire career with the Red Sox and that Boston made overtures to the four-time All-Star regarding a new contract over three different offseasons, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne.

"I understand there is probably little I can say today that will change how you feel about this," Henry said, "but it is my responsibility to try."

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Red Sox owner acknowledges fan disappointment over Mookie trade
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