The Mookie Betts deal finally got done, so what had to change in order for hit to happen?
Last Tuesday night, a three-team trade that would send outfielder Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers was reportedly agreed upon.
David Price would join Betts in going from Boston to Los Angeles with outfielder Alex Verdugo going directly the other way, while the Dodgers would send pitcher Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins and the Twins would have sent pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston.
By all accounts the deal was done. But the official confirmation never came, and then reports trickled out that the deal was stalled or could even fall through.
It was reported that the delay began when the Red Sox apparently became concerned over Graterol’s medical evaluation. He had Tommy John surgery in 2016 and had shoulder trouble last year, leading to questions about his future being as a starter or a reliever. It seems those past issues were news to the Red Sox, somehow, and it put the entire trade in peril.
A subsequent trade that had seemed like an easy domino to fall, as the Dodgers were set to send outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels, has fallen through.
Almost a week later though, it seems like the deal is finally done.
On Sunday night it was reported that the deal was done, again, with the original trade split into two separate deals. Here’s how each team ultimately came out:
Dodgers: Betts, Price and $48 million in cash considerations from the Red Sox; Graterol, the No. 67 overall pick in the 2020 draft and outfield prospect Luke Raley from the Twins
Red Sox: Verdugo, SS Jeter Downs and C Connor Wong
Twins: Maeda, a low-level minor leaguer (according to Ken Rosenthal) and $10 million in cash from the Dodgers
So each team got more than they would have in the original three-team deal.
The Red Sox got a couple prospects from the Dodgers to go with Verdugo, while still offloading significant salary as they wanted to. The Dodgers still got the two notable pieces they wanted, along with a couple prospects and a draft pick from the Twins. The Twins still get Maeda, along with a lower-tier prospect and some cash from the Dodgers.
It’s worth wondering why the Twins or any other team needed to be involved in an original three-team trade at all, other than the Dodgers perhaps being unwilling to part with a top prospect for Betts.
Ultimately everything worked out, barring unforeseen complications in either trade, once the deal was divided. All three teams can claim a level of victory, and Betts has a new home as expected.