The biggest trade of the MLB offseason came down to the last weeks, but Mookie Betts has been unofficially traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The trade was part of a three team deal between the Dodgers, Betts’ former team, the Red Sox, and the Minnesota Twins, and it involved a lot of moving parts. The Dodgers acquired Betts and David Price, who the Red Sox desired to trade due to his large contract. In return, the Dodgers gave up highly touted outfielder Alex Verdugo. That’s where the Twins come in. To help offset some of the money, the Twins acquired cash from the Red Sox in exchange for 20 year old top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol. The Dodgers in turn sent Kenta Maeda to the Twins to complete the deal.
Right after the deal was reported, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers had another trade in the works, to move outfielder Joc Pederson across Los Angeles to the Angels. This deal involved Ross Stripling, and a young outfielder in the Dodgers minor league system, in exchange for infielder Luis Regnifo, and another prospect.
However, none of these trades have been made official. The Red Sox saw a problem in Graterol’s physical, being unaware that he was a reliever long term, and not a starter. That held up the Betts trade and the Pederson trade, as the Dodgers do not want to trade an outfielder if they are not receiving Betts back. Currently, reports are that the three teams are motivated to get this deal done and reworked, but are moving slowly towards doing so. The Red Sox are requiring another pitching prospect, a starter, from either the Dodgers or Twins, and will reportedly accept any trade that involves them acquiring one.
Another roadblock is Pederson’s contract. The Dodgers and Pederson could not reach an agreement on a 2020 contract figure, and had to settle on an arbitrator, and the hearing was held yesterday. Once his contract is figured out, the Dodgers return from the Angels could change.
The majority of this blockbuster trade has been laid out, now if the smaller moving parts can get laid out, one of the biggest trades in MLB history is likely to fall very soon, and it will surely have drastic changes on the league for the upcoming season.