Sources: Dodgers, Red Sox agree to new version of Mookie Betts blockbuster

Tim Brown
·MLB columnist
·3 min read
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 29: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox runs to the dugout during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on September 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Superstar outfielder Mookie Betts would head from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers if the latest version of the blockbuster trade is indeed made official. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Given five days, and after the second-most notorious paper shredding of the week, the blockbuster baseball trade that was caught in a rundown somewhere between Logan Airport and LAX found resolution in the evening hours Sunday.

Pending the rending of any other medical reports.

The (current) final version, which follows the last final version by nearly 120 hours, will include these main pieces:

The Los Angeles Dodgers get: Outfielder Mookie Betts, left-hander David Price and cash. Reports indicate they will also acquire right-hander Brusdar Graterol.

The Boston Red Sox get: Outfielder Alex Verdugo. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports they will also acquire infield prospect Jeter Downs and catching prospect Connor Wong.

The Minnesota Twins get: Right-hander Kenta Maeda, reportedly alongside cash and a prospect.

As the week went on, and as different paths emerged, the clubs determined that the prearranged Joc Pederson deal with the Angels and Dodgers was not necessary.

Again, to be clear, pending cold feet, buyer’s remorse, a paperwork snafu or, perhaps, the existence of a totally different player also named Brusdar Graterol.

Sunday’s iteration was similar but not identical to Tuesday’s, which fell apart when the Red Sox, already weathering a public relations storm for trading the revered Betts, became dismayed by the details of Graterol’s medicals. Some viewed the complication as a well-timed convenience for a team that seemed surprised to learn its best player was also its most popular player. Others, more graciously, viewed it as nothing more than bad scouting.

Regardless, a three-way trade being the most fragile of transactions, and with eight players packed but not sure where they were headed, if anywhere, and with at least one union chief and one super agent howling, the Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins returned to the table. The Angels held the door.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Brusdar Graterol #51 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the New York Yankees on October 4, 2019 in game one of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Right-handed pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol's medical reports were said to have waylaid the original agreement between the Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Enough time passed between then and a second handshake to count most of the votes in Iowa (but not all), to acquit a President, to return Hunter Pence to San Francisco, to have A.J. Hinch almost come clean and still cast further doubt as to what Jose Altuve was doing with his lapel, and to add “You guys Codebreaking?” to the list of possible party greetings. Also, Apple ran out of face-palm emojis.

By the end, or what seems to probably be the end, perhaps, the broad strokes had the Dodgers with a significant upgrade in Betts, by most opinions the second-best player in the game, and a possible upgrade in Price, who, at 34, has become a moving target as far as performance goes. In order to mitigate the innings, or lack thereof, ahead, the Red Sox agreed to cover slightly more than half of the remaining $96 million due to him over the next three seasons.

Also, they had the Red Sox adding Verdugo, a 23-year-old left-handed hitter who is a skilled right fielder, as well as trimming Red Sox payroll by enough for them to army crawl beneath the competitive balance tax threshold, a significant enough outcome for them to wear the local outrage for trading Betts.

With the acquisition of Maeda, the Twins further cemented their spring status as AL Central favorites.

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