Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 5, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’ve been hearing about it pretty much all off season, but it looks like it finally happened. The Boston Red Sox finally trade outfielder Mookie Betts and got themselves under Major League Baseball luxury tax line. It took three teams to get a deal done, but here who went where.

Betts along with left handed pitcher David Price will be headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers and right handed pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota will receive starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. On the surface it looks like the Dodgers really got the better end of this deal, but let’s try to take a closer look.

Betts is just one year away from free agency and there are reports that he’ll receive a contract worth $400 million dollars. Will that be from the Dodgers? Or will he just be their for one year. Betts has received MVP votes in each of he last 5 seasons; winning the award in 2018. Betts is a career .301 hitter and has hit 30 or more home runs twice in his career while also stealing 16 or more bases every season he’s been a full time player. He is definitely one of the superstars in the game of baseball, but the key here is will the Dodgers be able to keep him for more than one season. The Dodgers also get Price and his large contract. Price was a Cy Young award winner, but believe it or not that was back in 2012. Price has been injured in two of the last three seasons and has made just 63 starts over that period of time. Last season Price had an ERA of 4.29 and pitched 107 1/3rd innings over 22 starts. Last season was the first time Price had an ERA over 4.00 since 2009 which was his first full season at the major league level. Price has three years and $96 million dollars left on his contract.

The Red Sox gets Verdugo who was a former prospect coming up through the Dodgers organization, but never had a chance to play full time. Last season was the first time Verdugo played in over 100 games. He hit .294 in 106 games with 12 home runs and 44 RBI’s. Verdugo played all three outfield positions for the Dodgers last season, but it appears as he’ll be a corner outfield for the Red Sox. The Ed Sox also pick up the hard throwing 21 year old right hander Graterol. He appeared in 10 games for the Twins last season all in relief covering 9 2/3rd innings. Graterol has only pitched in 51 minor league games over 4 seasons making 41 starts. He’s thrown 214 total minor league innings, but has moved quickly through the Twins minor leagues. Graterol pitched at three minor league levels for Minnesota last season going 7-0 with an ERA of 1.92 in 18 games 11 of which where starts. Will Graterol be in the Red Sox starting rotation come opening day?

It appears that the Twins where added to this deal late since all the early reports had this deal happening between just the Red Sox and Dodgers. Minnesota was the team that gave up a top rated prospect as Graterol was the 83rd ranked prospect coming into this season. In return for giving up a prospect the Twins get veteran and versatile in Maeda. He pitched in 37 games last season for the Dodgers with 26 of those being starts. Maeda also picked up 3 saves last season. Maeda has really shown his versatility in the playoffs. Maeda has pitched in 24 post season games over the last three season, but only three of those games have been as a starter. In the post season Maeda is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA over 32 2/3rd innings. Even though he’s shown that he can be either a starter or reliver it appears as though Maeda will be in the Twins starting rotation as the 2nd or 3rd starter.

It’s clear that the Dodgers where the winners of this deal and if  they can sign Betts to a long term deal that would really put this deal over the top for them. The Twins get a solid veteran pitcher for their prospect, but the biggest question in this deal is; how did the Red Sox do? There will be a lot of if’s attached to this deal for the Red Sox. Now they did get the luxury tax relief they where looking for, but it also looks like they gave up a chance to contend for the AL East. Now if Verdugo produces as a full time player and if Graterol can become a fixture in the starting rotation this deal might not look to bad for Boston, but right now was it more than just a salary dump?

This was the first time in baseball history that a former MVP and a former Cy Young award winner where traded by a team in the same deal.

Now I’m sure there’s people out there thinking that by adding an outfielder the Dodgers really have an over crowded outfield. Well Los Angeles was able to take care of that before the trade for Betts and price was even announced. The Dodgers sent outfielder Joc Pedersen and minor league outfielder Andy Pages to the Los Angeles Angels in return for Luis Rengifo.

Pedersen’s name had come up in trade talks quite a bit over the last couple of off seasons and he was finally dealt.

Pedersen can not only play all three outfield positions, but has also played some 1st base. He’s coming off a season where he hit a career highs in home runs at 36 and RBI’s with 74. Pedersen should step right in and be the everyday rightfielder for the Angels and it looks as though he might also be their lead off hitter. Pages has been in the minors for just two years, but was the Dodgers 29th ranked prospect. It will be quite a few years before Pages will be ready to step into the major leagues; so it’s kind of a wait and see situation with him.

At 22 years old Rengifo got his first taste of playing in the majors last season. He appeared in 108 games for the Angels last season. He hit .238 and played 104 games at 2nd base and 12 games at shortstop. If Rengifo makes the Dodgers opening day roster he’ll be their third player along with Chris Taylor and Enrique “Kiki” Hernandez who can play multiple positions. That would give Dodgers manager Dave Roberts a lot of flexibility on his bench.

With these two deals; do you now consider the Dodgers the favorite to win the World Series? I’d also be interested to know how you think these deals affect the Red Sox, Twins and Angels.

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  1. It’s easy to predict the 2020 W/S; Yankees vs Dodgers. Wait a minute, I predicted that in 2019 and it didn’t happen. But both teams seem loaded right now and have to be the overwhelming choices to win the NL and AL.
    What the hell; I probably won’t be watching the Cub games anyway this season.


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