Posted on February 9, 2020, by Bryan Zarpentine
For the second time in less than a week, the Boston Red Sox have agreed to trade outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers. A three-team trade that also included the Minnesota Twins fell apart when the Red Sox balked because of the medical records of prospect Brusdar Graterol, who they would have received from Minnesota. With the Twins backing out when the Red Sox requested an additional player, the Dodgers and Red Sox agreed to a new deal to send Betts and Price to Los Angeles.
The updated trade will once again send Betts and Price to the Dodgers. In return, Boston will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo, who was also in the original deal. In addition to Verdugo, the Red Sox will receive shortstop prospect Jeter Downs and catching prospect Connor Wong. The Red Sox will also pay half of the $96 million left on Price’s contract over the next three years. For the previous trade, the Dodgers also orchestrated a trade with the Los Angeles Angels to send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Halos Luis Rengifo. However, that trade is reportedly off, much to the chagrin of the Angels.
In a separate trade, the Dodgers and Twins worked out a deal to still send Kenta Maeda to Minnesota. The Twins were initially set to get Maeda in the three-team trade while sending Graterol to the Red Sox. But the Red Sox had concerns about Graterol’s medical reports. In the end, the Dodgers chose to take Graterol in exchange for Maeda. Los Angeles is also getting minor league outfielder Luke Raley, who they originally drafted and sent to the Twins in the Brian Dozier trade in 2010, as well as the 67th overall pick in this year’s draft.
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Assuming there are no other surprises, the Dodgers will have made three separate trades, all so they can acquire Betts and Price. Without question, Betts is the big fish that Los Angeles wanted. He has just one season before hitting the free-agent market, so this is a short-term trade for the Dodgers. Of course, Betts is just a year removed from winning MVP honors while helping Boston win the 2018 World Series. The club is hopeful that he can repeat that in Dodger blue this year.
For the Red Sox, this trade surely hurts them in the short-term. However, the club was determined to cut payroll this winter, which they no doubt accomplished. Verdugo should step in right away for Betts in right field and be a long-term solution at that position. Downs is a promising shortstop prospect, although his future could be at second base, especially with Xander Bogaerts locked up through at least 2025. Wong also has big-league potential after raking in double-A the second half of last season.
The Twins also did well in their reworked trade with Los Angeles. All along, Minnesota wanted Maeda to add another proven starter to its starting rotation. In the original three-team trade, they essentially swapped Graterol for Maeda. But in the new trade, they gave up Graterol for Maeda, cash, and an extra draft pick.
Needless to say, these trades were far complicated and took far longer to complete than anybody expected. However, each team seems to have ended up with what they wanted. The Dodgers gave their 2020 title hopes a serious boost by getting Betts, albeit at a substantial price. The Red Sox cut payroll and acquired a significant amount of young talent. The Twins, meanwhile, ended up getting Maeda and a little extra. By late October, we’ll know if the price was worth it for the Dodgers while it’ll take a few years to make a fair assessment regarding whether or not this was all worth it for the Red Sox and Twins. For now, all that matters is that the deals are done.