The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to trade star outfielder Mookie Betts and left-handed pitcher David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
In return, Boston would receive outfielder Alex Verdugo and right-handed pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from Los Angeles.
Graterol was acquired by the Dodgers from the Twins in an earlier trade that sent right-hander Kenta Maeda to Minnesota. In total, five players were involved in this three-team blockbuster.
For the past week or so, it seemed as though a deal involving Betts going to a National League West club was inevitable, with the Dodgers eventually winning the sweepstakes and the Padres presumably finishing as the runner-up.
The 27-year-old is set to earn $27 million in 2020 before becoming a free agent for the first time next winter.
As for Price, the 34-year-old is still owed $96 million over the final three years of the seven-year, $217 million pact he inked with the Sox back in December 2015. It looks like Boston will be responsible for about half of that financial commitment going forward with Los Angeles picking up the rest.
In Verdugo and Graterol, the Red Sox now have two controllable pieces who have both seen time in the majors recently.
Starting with Verdugo, the 23-year-old out of Tuscon, Arizona appeared in 106 games for the Dodgers last season, slashing .294/.342/.475 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI.
Back in August, Verdugo was placed on the injured list due to a right oblique strain and did not appear in a major league game for the remainder of the year after suffering a setback while on a minor-league rehab assignment. He also dealt with lower back soreness.
With Graterol, the Sox get Baseball America’s 60th-ranked prospect headed into the new season.
The 21-year-old Venezuelan made his major-league debut for Minnesota last September and allowed a total of five earned runs on 10 hits and two walks to go along with 10 strikeouts over 10 relief appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings of work.
Graterol projects to be either a middle-of-the-rotation starter or high-leverage reliever, depending on how well he can manage his arsenal, which includes a high-velocity sinker.
Of course, parting ways with both Betts and Price stings mightily. The pair played key roles in one of the most successful runs in franchise history that included three straight American League East titles and a historic World Series-winning campaign in 2018.
Originally drafted out of high school in the fifth round of the 2011 amateur draft, Betts rose to become the best homegrown player the Red Sox have developed in quite some time.
Because Betts will be a free agent for the first time come November, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe that the two sides could entertain a potential reunion when the time comes.
Betts’ strategy seems to be to go to the highest bidder once he does hit the open market, so if the Red Sox are willing to meet his demands, which seems unlikely at this point, why not? A man can dream.
This blockbuster may not have been Chaim Bloom’s first move since being named the Sox’ chief baseball officer last October, but it sure is the most impactful one.
Since medical information still needs to be reviewed, this trade has yet to be finalized.