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#pounditTuesday, August 4, 2020

Did Red Sox stall Mookie Betts trade over negative media reaction?

Mookie Betts

The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers had a trade in place involving Mookie Betts on Tuesday, but within days, the third part of the deal more or less fell apart.

The Red Sox were slated to acquire Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers and top prospect Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Betts and David Price. That trade stalled when the Red Sox voiced concerns over Graterol’s medical records, and they attempted to get a second prospect from the Twins. Minnesota has not been willing to significantly renegotiate their end of the deal, and that portion of the trade looks to be on life support as a result.

The deal was widely criticized by fans and players alike, with many stating that it looked like a salary dump and the Red Sox failed to get a fair return for an MVP-caliber outfielder, even if Betts is headed into the final year of his contract.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, some involved in the trade talks believe that Red Sox ownership became wary of criticism of the original deal.

If this is part of the reason, it would be a terrible look for the Red Sox, but Rosenthal makes it sound like a possible explanation. Boston’s issues with Graterol came about suddenly, especially when they already would have known he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016. It’s easy to understand why the Twins were very reluctant to negotiate when Boston suddenly sought another prospect. As unpopular as the original deal may have been, it’s not likely they can make a good one, as many Red Sox fans are simply opposed to trading Betts in the first place.

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