As most know by now, Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Supposedly, the trade was done last week; that was until the Sox were reportedly scared off by Minnesota Twins’ prospect Brusdrar Graterol’s physical. I don’t know how much of that I believe, but either way the Dodgers and Sox were able to renegotiate and strike a deal. The question now becomes whether or not Boston got more out of this deal, or the one that was originally reported.
A trade sending Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price from the Red Sox to the Dodgers appears to be back Monday on after a holdup last week. The Red Sox will allegedly receive Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. https://t.co/qYCH4VhNJw pic.twitter.com/yR9aNs220C
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) February 10, 2020
Instead of receiving Brusdrar Graterol from Minnesota, Boston snatched up two prospects from the Dodgers to go along with outfielder Alex Verdugo: infielder Jeter Downs and catching prospect Connor Wong.
Downs is the more highly-touted prospect (outlined here), but people view Wong as an athletic catcher with a lot of pop. Wong is also very versatile around the diamond, spending time at second and third as well as behind the dish.
Very positive reviews from Law.
“If the return were just Downs for a year of Betts, I’d still say it was a good deal for Boston.” Verdugo well above average regular. Wong an unusual utility guy that could be a regular catcher. https://t.co/uYFWTHfMp3
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) February 10, 2020
Overall, I think the Red Sox did better in this deal, but not by much. Downs could be a future stud at second base and Wong adds depth to a very thin farm system, but one of the main arguments around, “trading Mookie Betts to get prospects”, was the idea that Boston would be able to bring in some young pitching: something they did not do. If Boston stuck with the original deal, that’d be different. But the past is the past and the Red Sox now have these three young, position players that they expect to help contribute to some victories down the line.
I still would have rather had ownership fork over the money for a 27-year-old superstar, but due to Betts’ desire to hit the open market it makes sense why ownership leaned towards trading the former MVP: the Sox wanted to get something for him now in case he walked.
That’s why the Graterol’s arm / shoulder had Boston spooked. They didn’t want to get nothing for Betts and if Graterol’s arm imploded in the next month, Boston would be in an uproar. But prospects are always suspect and no one knows how either Graterol, Downs, or Wong will turn out. Time will tell, just like it will tell whether or not the Red Sox made a big mistake in dealing their homegrown stud.
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-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)