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The Dodgers And Red Sox Are Making This Much Harder Than It Has To Be

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.

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.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

51 thoughts on “The Dodgers And Red Sox Are Making This Much Harder Than It Has To Be

  1. Scott, if I were to guess, i would say most fans here would agree with you, especially the part of having to involve the Twins in this deal in the first place. Treat deal with Twins separate from this Boston deal. But now as ya suggested Dodgers may have to include another prospect in this deal for Betts and when all is said and done he is still a 1 year rental and I cannot for the life of me or anyone else believe Freidman would give in to Bett’s long term contract and $$$ demands for after this year.

    1. Trade is becoming official…Verdugo, Downs and Wong to the Sox for Betts, Price and cash. Maeda to Minnesota for Graterol and another prospect. LA also sending some cash to Minnesota. Pederson-Stripling close to being completed.

  2. Well,

    Michael is right. The trade is apparently done. BUT, Dodgers lose two prospects in Downs and Wong, and take questionable arm of Graterol…. Dodgers sure love to take on the walking wounded. Could it be their close proximity to Kerlan-Jobe Medical Center?

    … “The Dodger’s Way”, I guess.

    1. The Dodgers gained a lot more than they lost. Downs and Wong are both blocked and we sure won’t miss Pederson and Stripling. It’s one year of Betts, but it’s a contract year and should be a fun ride. Open your arms LA. Make it hard for him to leave!

      1. He will walk, Badger.

        Money talks, bullshit walks. His contract demands are bullshit. Name on the front of his jersey makes no matter. He is only concerned with the name on the back of his jersey. Just a 50/50 chance he is going to be able to get the Dodgers to the promised land in 2020, then he will be gone. Pitching wins championships, not just one bat.

        Don’t get me wrong. He may be a great player, but the Dodgers got suckered into a 1-year rental. Cost them 4 players in the process and two prospects. Dodgers got Betts, two questionable pitchers, and an Angel prospect.

        Who knows, I might be wrong.

      2. Concur with you Badger! And I read somewhere that Boras (the agent for Graterol) says he is fine now from what info he has gathered. So I am good with this Boston trade for Betts. At first I thought giving up Jeter Downs was a bit much but the Dodgers I am sure prefer knowing they are only responsible for half of Price’s remaining salary.

  3. Cmon Scott just eat your crow and enjoy it! AF delivered! The Dodgers are much better today for 2020 than they were a week ago! And I’d rather have Graterol than Downs. A future closer is a huge need for us. If you want to criticize AF for last year’s off season then you have some justification but this move is a total win!

    1. I have. I like the trade and I like it even more now with a flame throwing reliever coming back. But the whole thing has been a mess since Tuesday. They’re better off keeping Joc, unless they can get another good reliever for him.

  4. Pederson trade to the Angels will not happen. Being reported by Rosenthal. Graterol has been cleared medically and has been throwing already. Guy clips 100 mph, lets see how things play out before we all have heart attacks.

    1. The Dodgers got better. This is going to be a great year. 2021 is a long way off.

      Joc and Stripling will be easy to move. If they intend to do it, they should do it quickly. Spring Training is going to be awkward.

  5. I agree with Scott. I like this deal more with Graterol with us. Jeter Downs and Connor Wong are blocked. I’ve always wondered why we haven’t traded our surplus catching for more flamethrowers.

    We need a young flame thrower. We have had a few that we traded away – Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes for Reddick (Hill too, but he was a throw in at the time, he got his big contract as a FA later). (In 2019 Montas had a K/9 of 9.7 and Holmes in AAA had a K/9 of 9.6.)

    They could have gotten more for Pederson and Stripling. Maybe there are more players to be named later.

  6. Depth:

    Even AAA looks stacked with pitching. I see 9 starters capable of 20+ starts, 6 capable of 25 starts, and that’s giving all those at the top of our rotation time off in late summer. We have Kershaw, Buehler, Price, Wood, Urias, May, Gonsolin, Stripling, White, Gonzalez, Santana, Gray all lined up for 2020. We also have Ferguson. Our pen looks great too, 8 deep without Graterol listed there. Both he and Alexander are currently listed at AAA.

    This team, this organization, is loaded. There is enough depth here to cruise to October. We are now scheduled to win the West by the second week in September. O/U win projection is 100.5. Nobody in the NL is higher. Only Yankees in the AL are projected to win more at 101.5.

    This is gonna be fun.

    1. Sounds great, Badger.

      Everything looks good on paper…. we have seen that before. We can brag all we want, about how deep this team is, but we will never know, until the rubber meets the road.

      There, no doubt, are a lot of potential prospects on on the farm. It is just up to the Dodgers to unleash this talent, and start a dynasty. All too often, they Choose to hang their caps on dumpster finds, and expensive rentals (losing money and many of the prospects in the process).

      I would love to see a home grown team, rather than the FO trying to piece together a bunch of “Misfits”. This season seems to be the closest to “building from within”, in a long time. Now, it is up to these kids to showcase their talent, and avoid the demotion back to the farm. This could be an exciting year, Badger.

      “Misfits” are Dumpster Finds… worn out, injured players that teams have no hope for, or have given up on. “Misfits” are Free Agents who are just a bunch of selfish players who only care about themselves, and not the team. If these Free Agents are so great, then teams would hang on to them, rather than trade them in a salary dump, or let them walk out the clubhouse door. “Misfits” are players who only take up roster space and serve as road blocks to the careers of anxious talent and potential superstars.

      Just my honest opinion.

        1. Use your imagination, Brutus. (Really does not take that much imagination)

          It is not that hard to figure out. I’ve done enough finger-pointing. You can choose your own! I’m sure you have your “5h1t” list. I have mine.

          1. Friedman will always be looking for and signing dumpster pickups. It’s been part of his M.O. since the McKazanderson days. That’s not gonna stop. But that is not the makeup of this roster nor is it the makeup of the substructure beneath the 26 man. I look at those depth charts and my reaction is “damn, this organization is organized”. I wouldn’t want to be a fan of any other team in the West. This Dodger team is gonna be hard to beat.

            That said I do recognize that the playoffs are a crap shoot. Always have been, always will be. The plan is the same – peak in late September. Have everybody rested and ready to go AND, here’s a big one, don’t force Roberts to feel like he has to get innovative with his bullpen.

            We’re in good shape heading to Spring Training. We’ll see how it shapes out over 7 months but I like our chances.

          2. Sounds like a non-answer.

            Can’t say I’m surprised.

            I’m just sayin’ it’s just my honest opinion.

    2. Correction, Badger. We have already won the West with this crew even before this season has begun! I would go so far as to say that even the next 5 years might yield dynasty results. I’ve never seen the team looking as tough and talented as they do now. Even if Betts is just a 1 year rental, it will be worth it just to see the team get that WS win. How anyone could complain about all this is beyond me. But, you know how these humans are. 🙂

    1. See Brutus… Even Cassidy has an imagination! It is not that difficult.

      Everyone is entitled to their own personal “5h1t” list.

    1. It’s just not possible to please everyone. But, I’m pleased. That lineup is gonna be fun to watch. I’ll have to figure out how to do that. Might have to watch on my mini ipad again. I understand there is a way to do that in SoCal.

      As for those who can’t get on board, sorry. Haters gonna hate. That isn’t new. A lot of hate has been spilling forth for a while now. The Dodgers winning isn’t a panacea, but it helps short term.

      1. Badger
        I am happy with the trade and I do think it will be fun to watch this year however, I still have some concerns over the relief corps. That is necessary for the team to be successful. We shall see. Friedman gets a pass this year from me but not Roberts. His decisions are very questionable.

      2. Badger,

        There are some sites where you can watch all the games for free including NBA, NFL, NHL, Tennis, etc., from anywhere. Try
        No sign ups. Just click out of all the popups then click on the link to a game. If that doesn’t work, I have two more for you.

  7. I wonder what’s going to happen with Joc. The arbitration hearing didn’t go well, and I can imagine why since his value got docked a couple of million by being a platoon player.

    We got a pick back from the Twins plus a speedy prospect for Maeda, in addition to Graterol who fills a need. It’s a good haul for Maeda even if we had to some of Maeda’s salary.

    Stripling was just an all star a couple of years ago and can pitch 5 innings just as well as Maeda and is cheaper. It was good that trade with the Angels fell through. Though I still think Joc gets traded.

    1. Joc is a goner. No way they can bring him back. They need to open 2 spots on the roster for the trade to be official. And they are going to have to do that asap. They got another player besides Graterol and the pick, Luke Raley, a 25 year old outfielder who was a Dodger before, but was traded in 2018 in the Dozier deal with the Twins. They do not need to move Stripling, but they do need to dump Joc’s salary. They are a little over the tax right now, but I do not think that is worrying them too much. Moreno pulled out of the Pederson trade.

        1. I’d rather get rid of Pollack than Joc, actually. The Pollack signing was a fail and I’d happily eat crow if he becomes an all star this year.

          Of course everyone knows this so they are totally lowballing Friedman. That’s what happens when you keep signing quantity over quality in a league with roster size limitations – it’s basic math. It reminds me of all those M&A negotiations I’ve been in, where all the bankers are 24/7 super spreadsheet nerds, but overlooks a basic arithmetic question that sinks the deal.

          1. It’s Pollock. And it’s not his ability to play on the field, it’s his ability to stay on the field. The guy is injured a lot. If he could just get 400 injury free plate appearances he could put up 1.5 WAR. Maybe if we pay the difference, like $5 million a year for the next 3 years, we could lose him. Otherwise, he’s ours. As he gets older, and he’s flying past prime, 32 this year, he will become less interesting. At 30 he put up 2.5 WAR, 460 plate appearances, so he’s capable if he can play. Can he play? Who knows

        2. Raley is a lefty hitter. He has no shot of making the big club out of spring or anytime soon. Played a grand total of 38 games last year, 33 in AAA. His only experience at that level. He has some pop, and he is only 25. White and Garlick DFA’d to get the roster to 40, so Joc gets a reprieve for now. But someone will have to sit down with Joc when he gets to camp and smooth things over. There has to be some hurt feelings over both the attempted trade and the results of his arbitration battle. I doubt they move Pollock.

          1. Hurt feelings? Someone needs to sit down with Pederson and remind him how lucky he is. He made $5 million last year and just got a $2.75 million raise. He’s a free agent soon so stfu and do what you do and this time next year you will have a $50 million contract from someone. As for being in there everyday, that’s not going to happen here. You’ve had 5 years to show us you can hit hit left handers and you’ve OPS’d .572 against them. Granted it’s only 375 plate appearances but we have right handers o’plenty who can OPS .800 in those at bats so why wouldn’t we do that?

            He and Stripling are there for the taking. Andrew is on a roll. There’s still deals to be made. Send one, two or both plus out for Clevinger and/or Bummer.

          2. Michael, on MLBN they indicated the one person that can ‘smooth’ things over and counsel Joc on this current situation is Roberts, but WSS.. I get the distinct idea that neither Joc or Pollock want to be platooned. In tht case, Joc really should have done what Bellinger did the year before by working on his craft against LHP and what was the result in 2019? Bellinger was in there daily against ALL COMERS and batted 4th .But if Joc has his sights on being able to start daily then it appears it will have to be elsewhere, but I am not advocating to deal him…

    1. Let ‘em gripe. You won’t complain Cassidy. I won’t complain. Does anybody else really matter? We will win the West by National Peanut Day and be peaking as a team by Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. Then wrap it up on National Candy Corn Day. And somebody here will likely complain there’s just too damn many holidays in any given year.

      We’ve got a plethora of plebiscite! I don’t know what that means, ask Norris, autocorrect put it there so I’m going with it.

      We are gonna thump the NL and without the AL teams knowing what’s coming we’re gonna throttle them too!

      Play ball!

      1. Badger

        Not complaining but do you really think Betts/Price is enough to bring it home? I know you feel good about the NL West but hey, you never know about injuries and such. I still feel the pitching has got to be looked at. What say you?

        1. I say the playoffs are always a crapshoot. I think we have been good enough to win it all for some time now. It hasn’t gone our way, and to some degree we now know why.

          Barring injuries I see another 100 win season and barring a Roberts brain fart, yes, I think this team is good enough to win it all. We are that good.

  8. For now the dust has settled. White and Garlick DFA’d to make room. Betts and Price will be officially introduced in a presser tomorrow. Lux changing his number to #9 Graterol gets his #48. Price gets # 33 and Betts his familiar # 50. While for now the plan is to platoon both Joc and AJ, I have not read anything from either player complaining about the situation. Now maybe privately they have reservations, but both want to win. From all reports, Pollock has been working hard to try to cut down the possibility of injury. There is also a report that Jansen has been working very hard to get back to what he was a couple of years ago. Only time will tell how this all plays out.

    1. It’s Poldark, dammit!

      I’m glad Jansen is working very hard to get back to form, does that mean he wasn’t working at it very hard the last two seasons?

      Due to his oft injured routine, Poldark really needs to be moved and salary eatin, I’ll take Jocdark any day over the him.

      1. It’s TruDark…

        Jansen is 32. He’s past his prime. A lot of these guys are just gifted enough in their 20s to fall out of bed and be better than anybody. You get to 30 and the bell curve starts working against you. Now you gotta get smarter. Jansen and Pollock need to listen to those analysts that have studied how to do more with less. The Von Skyhack and Driveline geniuses. Some players are smart enough to buy into it and do the work. Some are operating with cranial Puig cells and will fade to black. I’m thinking Pollock will earn his money this year. He’s making $15 million. 1.875 WAR. He’ll do it. Jansen, $18 million won’t, but he won’t have the number of BS, 8, he had last year. The Dodgers will work on that ridonkulous Blown Save problem.

        This year is gonna have a different look to it. Maybe not 106 wins, which will be different, but a different attitude come late September.

      2. Pollock was definitely a big mistake, True Blue, given his age and injury history. I agree, the Dodgers should just swallow their pride, and eat the contract. Heck, they ate Homer Bailey’s $25M contract without him even donning the Blue. Give Pederson some more playing time. Definitely would rather see
        Peddie out there, than ”PolDark”. If the Dodgers want to trade him, showcase Pederson. Continue to sit him, and he will always be the one dimensional player they created, with minimal trade value.

        Kelly may fall into the same basket of rotten eggs. Four other possible additions to the egg basket are newbies, Price, Wood, Nelson and Treinen…. all have questionable arms.

        Jansen maybe should be added to the basket, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He talks the talk, but cannot walk the walk. He claims he is working hard to return to form. Yes, he is lazy, and did not work hard the past two years. Remember how he did not participate in any spring training games? Sure, he had his health problems, but I think he is hiding more than just his heart issues.

        Kershaw, I think, still has something left in the tank…. nothing equal to what he is earning, but still, at least capable as a #3-#4 starter.

        1. Sounds like your bucket is half empty.

          I have the same bucket. It’s half full.

          I don’t know if Pollock can earn his money but I believe he is talented enough to to do it. He just needs the playing time. I believe the play is to move Joc and use Beaty in that role. I could be wrong about that. Jansen is overpaid. But we can live with that because so many of our team controlled players are still underpaid. Same with Kelly. But he only makes $8 million. Come on Joe, get it together for 1 WAR and you’re pulling your weight. Price, Wood, Nelson? $21 million. ALL worth the risk!

          Things are looking up for us. This team is going to thump the West and I’m betting they will have home field in the playoffs. Cheer up guys. We’re the f’n Dodgers!

          1. It’s Poldark!

            Badgvark! (cross between a badger and ardvark, only crumpier)

          2. crumpy: brittle, crisp

            A brittle Badger? I’ve only met a couple Badgers in my life. Brittle wouldn’t be the adjective I would use. But, I’m older now so I’ll wear it.

  9. Kelly has played one year one the Dodgers. He had a good stretch and a bad one. Roberts is the moron who sent him back out for a second inning. So I say lets see what he has in the tank, if he sucks, get rid of him. Same thing with Pollock. You can sit there and say he was a mistake, but the guy contributed, and was their hottest hitter for close to a month and a half. Yeah, he is making a lot of money, but right now I think they want to see if there is value to be had from that deal, just dumping 40 million and paying for nothing is ridiculous, even for people who have the kind of cash they do. Joc can walk after the season, so it only makes sense, since it looks as if they are not going to make a serious effort to retain him, or Kike for that matter, that they see what is available to them out there. Rather than complaining about the parts they have, look at the bright side. The team is loaded with talent, has plenty of backup options, and they are built to win. No on anywhere has any clue how the season will pan out. Let the chips fall where they may, and lets play some baseball. It is a long season. A lot can happen. Hell, someones arm may fall off.

    1. Solid post Bear. Very shlemming of you.

      I wonder if Kelly is buying into the driveline program. If he were to find consistency he would have late game value. And you are right, he did his job against the Nats. I hope Roberts learned a lesson. We keep hearing that “learned lesson” mantra. We too often find if old guys have been doing stupid stuff for decades they are likely to keep doing it. Old dogs new tricks mantra. We need Roberts to get out of the way and trust his people to do their jobs. The arms are down there. Line ‘em up and turn ‘em loose.

      1. Badger,

        The key word is “TRUST”.

        Another word is “GUT”. Sometimes you have to screw the ANALytics, and TRUST your GUT.

        How does he look today?
        What has he done lately?
        Is he swinging the bat well?
        Is he seeing the ball?
        Is he on a hot streak?
        How is he throwing?
        Is he laboring?
        Found his release point?

        Don’t just pull a batter because a lefty is coming to the mound, or don’t pull a pitcher after on pitch or one out, just because the chart says he cannot pitch to right handed hitters. Don’t think every save is a Jansen moment.

        TRUST your players. TRUST your baseball instinct and GUT feeling. ANALytics may be good, but don’t live by them. Any geek can read a spreadsheet and manage by it, to appease the FO. Don’t need a baseball genius to read a damn spreadsheet.

        1. I can’t argue that logic Blue. You and I would do exactly that. But my gut tells me if Roberts is looking at a spread sheet that says THIS lefty hits .350 against THAT righty then it’s THIS lefty gonna hit, even if THIS lefty has the flu. This is how it’s done. The dumb sh*t that bugs me is asking guys to do in October more than they were asked to do in the pennant race. Kershaw pitching out of the pen in October was Honey Boo-Boo stupid and having Kelly go an extra inning is something only the Robertson brothers would do. Every guy on this roster has a job to do and the manager needs to trust them to do it.

          1. Oh god… had to bring up Honey Boo Boo! Worst show in the history of bad television. DR is not the brightest bulb when it comes to strategy in game that is for sure, and that post hits the nail right on the head.

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