Not long after news broke that the Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins had agreed on a deal that would have sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, there was a pause in the deal. Brusdar Graterol, a pitching prospect from the Twins, had some red flags in his medical records that the Red Sox didn’t like. This caused the trade to be put on hold.
However, a few days later the sides were able to agree to a deal. Here are the full details of the trade:
Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts, David Price, Brusdar Graterol, 67th pick in the draft (from the Twins), cash from the Red Sox
Red Sox receive: Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong
Twins receive: Kenta Maeda and $10 million
The Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling deal with the Angels is reportedly off.
There are two immediate takeaways from this trade. The first being that the Red Sox were able to get a lot better of a deal this time than in the previous trade. The second is that if the Dodgers do well this year, Dodgers president Andrew Friedman should be a shoo-in for executive of the year.
From the Red Sox perspective, this is definitely a better deal than the previous trade. Let’s take a look at the newest members of the Red Sox organization.
As previously discussed, Verdugo is a former top 100 prospect who played in the majors this season. He put up decent numbers with a .294 average, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs, and four stolen bases. Verdugo will likely find an immediate spot in the Red Sox starting outfield, and be a future fixture of the team.
A player named after Derek Jeter is now on the Red Sox. Imagine that. From his MLB pipeline, Downs was picked 32nd overall in the draft, and can hit, field and run solidly. He can play both shortstop and second base, but is a better fit for second. He will likely succeed Dustin Pedroia at second base, considering Xander Bogaerts currently has a stranglehold on the shortstop position.
Connor Wong is relatively new to the catcher position, but Christian Vazquez’s emergence last year likely has bought Wong some time to get used to it. Wong has a powerful swing, but strikeouts are a problem for him. Wong has solid speed, and is quick and agile behind the plate. Wong likely will spend some time in the minors while continuing to adjust to the catcher spot.
In review, it looks like balking at the original deal did land the Red Sox a bit better of a deal this time. Dealing Betts and Price, who were two key members of the 2018 World Series run will likely sting for fans, and considering that the Yankees and Rays who both made the playoffs last year, are in the Red Sox division, this trade likely means the Red Sox are, for a lack of better words, punting the 2020 season. It comes down to John Henry either not wanting to pay Mookie Betts, or not being confident that the Red Sox would be able to bring him back in the offseason. But at the very least, this trade doesn’t seem reminiscent of the Babe Ruth trade now.