It looks like the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers will have to find a new dance partner if they are to complete the Mookie Betts trade. The Minnesota Twins, who were involved in the iteration of the deal reported Tuesday night, are not expected to be part of the final deal after failing to find a compromise with the Red Sox, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. CBS Sports HQ MLB insider Jim Bowden has since confirmed that the Twins are unlikely to be involved.
This is what the deal originally looked like:
- Dodgers receive: Mookie Betts, David Price, cash from Boston
- Red Sox receive: Alex Verdugo from Los Angeles, Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota
- Twins receive: Kenta Maeda, from Los Angeles
The Red Sox developed reservations about Graterol after examining his medicals, and were denied when they asked the Twins to include another high-quality prospect in return. It's unclear what caught the Red Sox off guard, as Graterol has a known injury history that includes Tommy John surgery and a shoulder impingement. It's also unclear why the Red Sox asked the Twins for more, considering the Red Sox weren't sending any players to Minnesota in the swap.
Graterol, 21, has thrown more than 100 innings in a season once. In addition to his past physical woes, there are concerns he'll end up in the bullpen due to his skill set. He has a good fastball-slider combination, but he has a lacking changeup and suboptimal command, due in part to a high-effort delivery.
Presumably, the Dodgers and Red Sox will continue to negotiate alternate deals. That could include making the trade a more traditional two-team endeavor or recruiting a different third team to take Minnesota's spot. Either way, this is the latest shaky development for the Red Sox, who have already dismissed manager Alex Cora for his role in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. MLB is expected to wrap its investigation into the Red Sox's alleged improper use of technology this week as well.
Minnesota's withdrawal doesn't just threaten the Betts deal, but also casts doubt on a contingent trade between the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels that would include Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling, among others.