The Dodgers Trade for Betts and Price from the Red Sox
Andrew Friedman, after a long and arduous 5 days, got his man. Mookie Betts is headed to the Dodgers, along with a very able pitcher in David Price. Initially announced Tuesday, the trade became official almost a week later due to complications on the Red Sox's part. The initial deal was as follows:
Dodgers: Mookie Betts, David Price
Red Sox: Alex Verdguo, Brusdar Graterol
Twins: Kenta Maeda
I would assume that Friedman was the one who involved the Twins because I suspect he didn't want to give up any of the Dodgers' top-100 prospects. Additionally, the Dodgers were able to give Kenta Maeda a shot to start all season and into October with the Twins, something he has wanted for a long time. So, everybody's happy, right? Unfortunately, the Red Sox, for reasons that are unclear but may be linked to the immense backlash they received from their fanbase after the trade was leaked, decided to put the trade on hold and renegotiate. The basis for this renegotiation was the health of the fireballer from the Twins, Brusdar Graterol. They, apparently, viewed him as a starter, even though the rest of the industry profiled him as a reliever due to his industry history, velocity, and previous innings count. While he was a starter in the Twins system, Graterol had only come out of the pen at the major league level. So, due to the Red Sox's poor scouting or sudden cold feet, the deal needed to be reworked.
Over the course of a tumultuous and emotionally draining five days, the Dodgers worked out separate deals with the Red Sox and Twins. Tomorrow, I'll cover the currently unofficial deal with the Twins, but you can read my thoughts on Maeda's departing here: https://dodgeryard.com/forums/topic/saying-goodbye-to-kenta-maeda/. The Red Sox made out better than they had previously, receiving the Jeter Downs, a highly touted middle-infield prospects the Dodgers stole from the Reds, and Conor Wong, a utility catcher in the minors. Since the Dodgers got Graterol from the Twins, they essentially made out about the same as they had in the beginning, but it will be a few years before the trade can be accurately assessed in this sense. If Graterol provides more value to the Dodgers than Downs does to the Sox, great. If not, it's unfortunate the Red Sox reworked the deal. The Dodgers got more, but gave more up. The final trade:
Dodgers: Betts, Price, Graterol, Luke Raley (older, low-level prospect)
Red Sox: Verdugo, Downs, Wong
Twins: Maeda, low-level prospect
Overall, this is a fantastic trade for the Dodgers. Betts is now their best player, period. Bellinger's ceiling is probably higher, especially in terms of home runs, but isn't there quite yet in my opinion. The Dodgers have also balanced a previously lefty-heavy lineup. Price is a solid pitcher when healthy and many analysts, including Orel Hershiser, have suggested he will flourish in the National League. On Tuesday night, the Dodgers fleeced the Red Sox for the best player in baseball not named Mike Trout. On Sunday night, they made a good trade for the best player in baseball not named Mike Trout. While Friedman's initially deal was unbelievably impressive, his second one was pretty darn good too.
The Angels trade seems to be off for now, and I'll be talking about that soon.