The Dodger’s mega blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins that would send Mookie Betts, David Price to the Dodgers, Alex Verdugo to the Sox and Kenta Maeda to the Twins has been on hold for the last several days since the deal was originally reported on Tuesday. Apparently the Red Sox had some kind of issue with the Brusdar Graterol’s Medical records. Graterol is the pitching prospect that was slated to be sent to the Red Sox.
But it wasn’t really the medical records that the Red Sox had a problem with. According to reports it’s the long-term pitching profile of Graterol that they don’t like. The young flame thrower is profiled more as a reliever than a starter. Boston didn’t like that and put the brakes on the impending swap. This of course isn’t the Dodger’s fault, but it may cost them an additional prospect to complete the trade. This three-team deal will also affect the other trade the Dodgers had agreed upon. The Dodgers had a deal worked out with the Angels in which they would send Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling and Andy Pages to the Angels in exchange for minor league infielder Luis Rengifo and another prospect.
The whole thing is ridiculous right now. The trade with the Angels was also delayed by Joc Pederson’s arbitration hearing, which shouldn’t have even been allowed during this in-between time while the teams finalize all of these trades.
If an agreement is reached, there’s a good chance that the Red Sox get Verdugo and an additional prospect or prospects, but as of now, the Sox are considered unlikely to end up with Graterol.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 9, 2020
Twins now dealing directly with Dodgers and that part of mega deal seems pretty set, with Maeda still going to Minnesota and Graterol presumably going to LA. Dodgers are now mostly working with Red Sox to rejigger package for Betts. There’s certainly increased hope. #Mookie
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 9, 2020
I liked the Betts trade, but all of this makes me doubt Friedman’s competency even more. Certainly it’s not his fault that the Red Sox didn’t like Graterol’s profile. But it makes me question a couple of things. First of all, why do the Twins have to be involved at all? It doesn’t make much sense to me to involve a third team in this deal. If you really wanted to get Betts, you shouldn’t have a problem including an extra prospect to sweeten the deal. Furthermore if you really wanted to dump Maeda, you can do so separately. Why does a third team even need to be involved anyways?
Friedman always makes things way more complicated than needed. That may cost him an extra prospect, or cash. Depending on how this whole thing finishes. This made me think back to the Ned Colleti era. Colleti rarely (except for the Manny Ramirez trade) made complicated three-team deals. His trades were normally straightforward trades that addressed holes on the roster. If he wanted someone, he would go out and get them without involving several other clubs to get it done. I kind of wish Friedman would take a page out of his book.
The other aspect of this is the Joc Pederson/Ross Stripling deal with the Angels. As I said earlier, they don’t need Pederson anymore if Betts is coming over. So trading him to make roster space makes sense. Although Michael is right as well. It’s also a salary dump as much as it is a roster dump. Here is another question. If they knew they were moving Pederson, or might be moving him, then why didn’t they just agree to a contact with him so his arbitration hearing wouldn’t interrupt the trades? It also makes zero sense for Ross Stripling to be involved at all. It’s not a huge deal to lose both players. I like both of them and have especially liked Joc. But losing those two players is not a deal breaker for the 2020 season.
It just seems like all of this could have been done so much easier. One of my complaints over Friedman is that he makes things way to complicated. None of this had to be so. It’s not his fault that the Red Sox didn’t like the prospect the twins sent over. Boston is weird too. But Friedman could have done this much smoother. If you want Betts, then go get him. Or don’t. But don’t make this harder than it needs to be.