2020 MLB Draft Will Be Limited to Five Rounds, per Report

The 2020 MLB Draft will indeed only be five rounds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The draft will be held June 10th, its original start date, and June 11th.

Upon completion of this year’s amateur draft, clubs can sign an unlimited number of undrafted players for a signing bonus of up to $20,000 each.

The five-round draft will be the shortest in the sport’s history, and as The Athletic’s Jayson Stark notes, that means that over 1,000 draft-eligible prospects who thought they were going to be drafted as recently as January won’t.

That being the case because under normal circumstances, the draft would be 40 rounds. However, due to the pandemic-induced shortened 2020 season, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA reached an agreement back in March to shorten the draft from anywhere between 5-10 rounds.

In a proposal sent to the MLBPA from commissioner Rob Manfred’s office earlier in the week, a 10-round draft would come “with other trade-offs that the Players Association determined were too restrictive, including slot amounts in rounds 6-10 at half their 2019 values and a limit of five undrafted players who could sign for a $20,000.” The union rejected the proposal.

If their had been five additional rounds in this year’s draft, the slot values of those rounds would have only come out to approximately $29,578,100, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. In other words, less than $1 million per club, which has disappointed many across the game.

The Red Sox this year will make their first selection in this year’s draft with the 17th overall pick. That pick will have a slot value of $3,609,700.

Boston will be without a second-round pick as part of their punishment for stealing signs in 2018, but here are the rest of the slot values for the club’s third, fourth, and fifth-round picks, courtesy of Baseball America.

Round 3, 89th overall: $667,900

Round 4, 118th overall: $487,900

Round 5, 148th overall: $364,400

Again, the 2020 MLB Draft will begin on June 10th, and it will be held virtually, presumably on MLB Network.

Red Sox Win Arbitration Case With Eduardo Rodriguez

The Red Sox have won their arbitration case with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The club will pay Rodriguez $8.3 million this season, not the $8.975 million he filed for last month.

Rodriguez, who turns 27 in April, is coming off a breakout campaign last year after posting a 3.81 ERA and 3.86 FIP over a career-best 34 starts and career-best 203 1/3 innings pitched. That was solid enough to earn him a sixth-place finish in American League Cy Young voting.

The Venezuela native was one of only two Sox players who remained unsigned going back to the deadline to exchange arbitration figures last month.

The other player, Andrew Benintendi, agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract extension with Boston last week that essentially buys out his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility.

By earning $8.3 million in 2020, Rodriguez will become the third-highest paid pitcher on the club’s active roster. He is eligible to become a free agent for the first time following the 2021 season.

Red Sox Reportedly Seeking Another Top Prospect From Twins in Blockbuster Trade That Would Send Mookie Betts and David Price to Dodgers

The Red Sox are reportedly still seeking a top prospect from the Minnesota Twins in addition to right-handed pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol in order to complete the three-team trade that would send Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

At this point in time, per Heyman, Minnesota has yet to budge from their original offer.

This news comes one day after it was reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that the Red Sox, upon reviewing his medical information, viewed Graterol more as a reliever than a future starter, leading to the club seeking additional compensation for parting ways with two of its marquee players.

As a result of this, any official movement between Boston, Los Angeles, and Minnesota has been at an impasse.

In the original trade proposal, the Sox would be receiving Graterol and outfielder Alex Verdugo, the Dodgers would be receiving Betts, Price, and cash considerations, and the Twins would be receiving right-hander Kenta Maeda.

Compared to the Red Sox and Dodgers, the Twins’ return in this scenario is minimal, so it is understandable why they would not want to throw in an additional top-10 prospect when it would not really benefit them.

Because Boston and Los Angeles appear to and should be motivated to complete this deal before pitchers and catchers report next week, there are a plethora of directions they could go with this.

First off, the Twins could remain on as the third team while the Dodgers throw in another prospect to satisfy the Sox’ needs. On the other hand, the Sox and Dodgers could either try and work out a trade themselves or find a completely different third team that would fill the gap left by the Twins.

Either way, this trade is still going to happen, probably. It just may not go down the way it was initially set up to.

Brusdar Graterol’s Medical Review Holding up Blockbuster Trade for Red Sox

As you may have noticed, the three-team blockbuster trade between the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Twins that would send Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles has yet to be made official.

The reason? Well, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:

The Red Sox, after viewing the medical records of Twins right-hander Brusdar Graterol, projected him more as a reliever than as a starter, according to sources involved with the discussions.”

Because of this, the Sox “might ask for an additional player and/or money to bridge the gap,” although it us unclear on whether that player would come from the Dodgers or Twins.

Graterol was one of the two players Boston would have received from Los Angeles in the original trade along with outfielder Alex Verdugo.

Verdugo’s medicals, per Rosenthal, have been cleared, which was a big deal given the fact that the 23-year-old missed most of the final two months of the 2019 season due to back issues and a right oblique strain.

As for Graterol, the hard-throwing Twins prospect suffered a right shoulder impingement last May that held him out of action for nearly three months.

Still, Graterol made his major-league debut for Minnesota in September and was viewed by the Twins as a future reliever, not a starter who could handle “a 150- to 170-inning workload” at the moment.

After reviewing the 21-year-old’s medical information, the Red Sox agree with this notion, per Rosenthal, which leads us to the belief that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and co. will be seeking additional compensation in a revised deal.

It’s still going to happen. Mookie Betts and David Price are going to the Dodgers. The Red Sox are going to get under the luxury tax threshold. It’s all just a matter of time.

Red Sox Close to Trading Mookie Betts, per Report

The Red Sox are close to trading star outfielder Mookie Betts, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who said on Monday’s installment of MLB Network’s Hot Stove that, “This is going to happen, Mookie Betts is getting traded. The only question is when and where.”

The Dodgers and Padres appear to be the favorites to land the 27-year-old Betts, who will make $27 million this upcoming season before becoming a free agent for the first time next winter.

Per Rosenthal, Los Angeles has “the ability to do this a little bit cleaner” since San Diego would be looking to include outfielder Wil Myers, who is owed $61 million over the next three years, in any trade.

Any deal involving the Dodgers would most likely be headlined by 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo and 21-year-old infield prospect Jeter Downs coming back to Boston.

Of course, any return the Red Sox get could depend on whether or not David Price is packaged with Betts in any potential trade.

Price, 34, is set to make $96 million over the final three years of the seven-year, $217 million deal he signed with the Sox back in December 2015. If he were dealt, Boston would probably be responsible for a majority of that $96 million.

Bundling Betts and Price in the same deal could help the Red Sox reach their goal of getting under the $208 million luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season, but it could also hinder the compensation for giving up an elite talent like Betts.

On Sunday, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweeted that he spoke to three different National League executives who said that Betts going to the Dodgers is “inevitable” at this point, with Verdugo, Downs, and a pitching prospect going to the Red Sox.