The Boston Red Sox backed out of the initial three-team trade they agreed upon involving Mookie Betts, but they insist the decision had nothing to do with backlash from fans or the media.
Betts was officially traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The original deal for Betts also involved the Minnesota Twins, but Boston backed out over concerns about 21-year-old pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol’s medical history. When discussing the trade for the first time, Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom insisted negative reaction had nothing to do with the original deal falling through.
Bloom: Reports that backlash impacted the team's willingness to conclude the initial trade are 'absolutely untrue'
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 11, 2020
Bloom said the trade was not delayed by concern about fan and media backlash. They knew it wasn’t going to be popular from the start.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 11, 2020
Bloom could say anything, and many people are not going to believe it. The Dodgers ended up working out a separate trade with the Twins in which LA will get Graterol, so obviously other doctors were not concerned about the pitcher’s medical history. That makes Boston’s decision to back out seem even more suspicious.
There have been hints that the Red Sox’s ownership group changed course because of the way they were roasted for the original Betts trade, and it’s not that hard to believe given how everything unfolded.
After a delay, the Boston Red Sox concluded the trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. While the prospect return looks better than the one they were getting before, that’s not enough to satisfy one player.
Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who did not hide his dissatisfaction when news of the initial Betts deal initially came out, did not feel any better about the restructured deal after news of the agreement was reported.
— J.D. Martinez (@JDMartinez28) February 9, 2020
Basically, he’s still not a fan. Neither are many Red Sox fans, and it’s hard to blame them. The Red Sox may still be fairly good next year, but Martinez signed on to win titles, and trading an MVP is not the message you want to send a player with that mindset.
There has been some chatter that the outcry over the initial Betts deal stalled out because the Red Sox were put off by the negative reaction from fans and media. This one looks likely to go through, but don’t expect fans to like it any more than the first one.
Mookie Betts is being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the terms of the deal that will send him from the Boston Red Sox to LA have been revised.
The Dodgers and Red Sox on Sunday agreed to a new deal involving Betts. Like the original trade, Boston will get outfielder Alex Verdugo. The Red Sox are also getting shortstop prospect Jeter Downs and catching prospect Connor Wong from the Dodgers.
BREAKING: The trade that will send Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been agreed upon, sources tell ESPN. Outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs are among those who will go to the Boston Red Sox.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 9, 2020
Catching prospect Connor Wong is headed to the Boston Red Sox alongside outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs in the trade that will send outfielder Mookie Betts, starter David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. Players have been notified.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 9, 2020
The deal was originally supposed to also involve the Twins, with the Red Sox receiving 21-year-old pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota. Now, the Dodgers have worked out a separate trade with the Twins that will send Graterol and a draft pick to the Dodgers for pitcher Kenta Maeda, $10 million, and a low-level prospect.
David Price is also still going to the Dodgers, and the Red Sox will pay half of his remaining salary as they agreed to do in the original Betts deal.
Red Sox/Dodgers trade is in fact nearly finished. Source says the Red Sox will pay half of the remaining $96 million remaining on David Price's salary.
— Chad Jennings (@chadjennings22) February 9, 2020
The Red Sox ended up with two additional prospects from LA after they were concerned with Graterol’s medical history. The Dodgers obviously don’t share that concern, and they are now getting Graterol in addition to Betts, which could be an even better deal for them.
While the Red Sox say they backed out of the original Betts trade due to concerns about Graterol’s health, there are many people who think there was a different reason they had a change of heart. Either way, the Dodgers still got their guy in a blockbuster deal and also added starting rotation help with Price.
The Boston Red Sox still appear to be on track to get a Mookie Betts trade done with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they will have options if the trade falls through once and for all.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, multiple teams reached out to the Red Sox after the initial Betts trade hit a roadblock to register their interest in the outfielder. The San Diego Padres would be the favorite if a Dodger deal falls through, but other teams would be involved. Those other teams may also be willing to take on pitcher David Price as well.
It looks increasingly unlikely that it will be necessary for the Red Sox to revisit other suitors. Progress is reportedly being made on the deal with the original teams that were involved in it. You have to wonder if some teams saw what the Red Sox were willing to take in exchange for Betts and tried to get in on it, but it looks like it will simply be too late for everyone else.
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers have been trying to find a way to complete the Mookie Betts trade after the deal hit a snag earlier in the week, and the Minnesota Twins are not entirely out of the picture.
The Dodgers and Red Sox were making progress in the Betts trade as of Sunday morning, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic adds that the Twins are still involved in the talks.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 9, 2020
In current talks, #MNTwins are working hard to satisfy #Dodgers and the Dodgers are working hard to satisfy #RedSox, sources say. Two separate deals are possible (for example, Graterol-plus for Maeda and Verdugo and others for Betts/Price). But all three teams involved in talks.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 9, 2020
Like Rosenthal, Heyman heard it is possible the Twins could end up making a separate deal with the Dodgers for pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol after the Red Sox expressed concern over the 21-year-old’s medical history.
In one proposed scenario Twins and Dodgers make their own deal involving Maeda and a Graterol with Graterol possibly sticking with LA. Non-Boston docs seem to have no big issue with Graterol meds.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 9, 2020
The Twins were obviously in on the Betts talks for a reason, as they want to acquire Kenta Maeda. It seems highly unlikely that all of the players involved in the deal would just remain with their respective teams after how far negotiations have come, and many believe the Red Sox have only pivoted after hearing negative backlash from fans and the media.
When all is said and done, it would be a shock if Betts doesn’t wind up in LA. That may be by way of a three-team trade involving the Twins and Red Sox, or the Betts trade may end up being its own entity. Either way, it sounds like the blockbuster trade will be completed at some point.
Major League Baseball is investigating the Boston Red Sox over an alleged sign-stealing scheme that has been compared to the one the Houston Astros were found guilty of implementing in 2017, but the two situations may not be as similar as many believe.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the investigation into the Red Sox is nearing its conclusion and has found “far less serious” violations than the Astros probe.
To be fair, have heard latest investigation into Red Sox will find far less serious transgressions than were found with Astros. Ruling could come next week (or perhaps slightly after)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 8, 2020
That could mean less serious sanctions are coming for Boston. The Astros were fined $5 million and both manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for a year. Houston fired Hinch and Luhnow. Alex Cora was a bench coach with the Astros when they were illegally stealing signs in 2017, and both Luhnow and MLB’s report made Cora sound like the mastermind behind the operation. Cora was not suspended since MLB wanted to wait until the Red Sox investigation was complete, but Boston still parted ways with its former manager.
The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using the video replay room to help steal signs, and apparently they were not the only team that did that. The biggest question will likely be whether or not they continued to do it after MLB made it clear to teams that it was not allowed.
Like with the Houston investigation, all indications have been that no Red Sox players will face discipline. Based on Heyman’s report, it sounds like the sanctions for the team could be far less serious overall.
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- Boston Red Sox
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.
Real question is what #RedSox want. #MNTwins could send Graterol and lesser prospect to #Dodgers, then LAD could flip Graterol and a better prospect to BOS. But some in talks sense that negative media reaction to Verdugo-Graterol return for Betts-Price gave BOS ownership pause.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2020
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.