Mookie Mookie Mookie
Whelp, it only took a week but the Dodgers finally finalized the deal for Mookie so I’ve updated the original post from a different deal.
Six weeks ago I asked the Dodgers to pivot to Mookie after losing out on Cole and Rendon, and that is just what they did when the much-anticipated trade was finally announced tonight. Many pundits tried to figure out what the price for Mookie would be, and the only thing they could agree on was that the price for Mookie would be pricey as in David Price and they were right.
The original deal was:
Boston gets Alex Verdugo
Dodgers get Mookie Betts and David Price plus cash to offset the Price contract.
Twins get Kenta Maeda
Boston gets the Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol the 83rd ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline
To make room for Mookie Betts the Dodgers traded Joc Pederson to the Angeles for 22-year-old infielder Luis Rengifo. That is all that was announced at the time but we just learned this trade is not complete and more pieces will be moved. It is possible that young prospect Andy Pages who had a phenomenal rookie league season is involved. Per MLBTradeRumors:
The final deal might even be better for the Dodgers even though they had to ante up prospects to make it happen.
Boston gets Alex Verdugo, solid prospect Jeter Downs, doubtful prospect Connor Wong
Twins get Kenta Maeda, low level catching prospect Jaír Camargo, and $10 Million in cash considerations.
Dodgers get Mookie Betts, David Price, $48 Million in cash considerations from Boston, and Brusdar Graterol, Luke Raley, 67th pick in the 2020 First Year Player Draft from the Twins. Graterol quickly became the Dodgers 4th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline.
If that wasn’t great enough news, it got even better when the Dodgers / Angels announced that their trade was off so Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, and highly regarded Andy Pages were all still in the Dodger system.
Here is a little taste of what Graterol brings to the mound. This could end up being big for the Dodgers. The Red Sox may have nixed the deal because of medicals or because he might be more suited for the bullpen but given the wealth of starters the Dodgers have, if Graterol becomes a big arm bullpen piece, I’m happy with that.
Brusdar Graterol’s 🔥 stuff. pic.twitter.com/Z1ZZdW9CNU
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 9, 2020
Thus the Dodgers lose a prized young outfielder in Alex Verdugo, who would have been under team control for years and had become a fan favorite. He should fit right in on the Red Sox and become their starting right fielder for the next few years provided he can stay healthy. I’ve long speculated that with Kenta’s contract he was a valuable trade piece and might be worth more in a trade than what he actually brings to the Dodgers. He’s always been good, but never good enough to make a postseason rotation.
If the price seems low for acquiring one of the top ten players in the game, it is only because Mookie is a one-year rental. He has already turned down a 10/300 extension from Boston so if the Dodgers hope to keep him, they will need to be ready to offer him the largest contract in Dodger history. None of that matters right now, what matters is that the Dodgers now boast the 2018 AL MVP in RF, and the 2019 NL MVP in CF while adding David Price to the rotation. AJ Pollock survived the winter and looks to enter 2020 sharing the job with Joc as the Dodger starting left fielder. The Dodgers still have Matt Beaty, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernandez as backup outfielders, though Taylor or Hernandez might get some burn at 2nd if Lux has trouble against left-hand pitching.
The rotation looks loaded. I mean loaded. They have Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. They just added David Price. Alex Wood and Jeff Nelson are both trying to come back but if they don’t, Urias, May, and Gonsolin are all ready to step in. I also haven’t mentioned Ross Stripling.
You have all seen the projected lineup:
Betts, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger, Seager, Pollock, Lux, Smith
The last time the Dodgers traded for my favorite non-Dodger was in 1974 when they traded Claude Osteen for Jimmy Wynn. All Jimmy Wynn did was have an MVP type season and lead the Dodgers to the 1974 World Series. I expect nothing less from Mookie Betts.