That might have been the difference between Mookie Betts not having been dealt out of Boston last July instead of just this past week.
Why was it pulled off the table this time around? Three straight wins against the Yankees.
By the time the Red Sox beat New York for a third consecutive victory on July 27 they found themselves ahead of Tampa Bay and 1/2-game out of a Wild Card berth. With just a few days before the trade deadline, it was hard to imagine that Dombrowski wouldn't need Betts for what was shaping up as a meaningful stretch drive.
But starting with the final game of that four-game series against the Yankees, the Red Sox went into a tailspin, losing eight straight with the trade deadline coming and going without any significant change one way or another.
The decision not to trade Betts at that time is notable considering what the Red Sox could have potentially gotten back. With 1 1/2 seasons of control, a team would surely pay a steeper price than the Dodgers ultimately ponied up this week.
When it comes to rebuilding these Red Sox, those three wins sure seemed to matter.