The Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins have agreed on a deal that sends superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and left-handed pitcher David Price to LA, Alex Verdugo, Brusador Graterol, and cash considerations to Boston, and Kenta Maeda to the Twins. This is a very complicated and complex trade, with all sides shipping and handling multiple highly touted players, and breaks what has been a quiet few weeks in the baseball transactional world.
Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, has one year remaining on his contract and has hit .301/.374/.519 for a 135 wRC+ and 37.2 fWAR in his career, including a 185 wRC+ and .346/.438/.640 triple slash in 2018, helping his club come out on top as World Series champions over his new team, the Dodgers. He wants to enter free agency, but the Dodgers will likely push a long term deal to keep Betts in an L.A. lineup that also includes the likes of Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Justin Turner, and many more.
David Price, a veteran of 34, has a career 3.31 ERA and 3.35 FIP with 8.78 K/9 in over 2029 career innings of work between the Rays and Red Sox but has seen a decline in production in recent seasons. He still posts sub 4 FIP numbers, along with high strikeout rates. He will join a rotation of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, and more.
Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda will be sent to the Twins in the deal, with RHP Brusdar Graterol being sent to the Red Sox in their package. Maeda is 31, and bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen since joining the league in 2016, posting a 3.87 ERA and 3.71 FIP with a 9.79 K/9 in 589 innings. Graterol is the top pitching prospect in the Minnesota organization, and made the majors last year, doing pretty well. He’s only 21, and has eye-opening numbers at the lower minor league levels, and throws at speeds of 100 MPH+. though struggled briefly in AAA.
Per Ken Rosenthal, the Angels will acquire outfielder Joc Pederson, prospect Andy Pages, and right handed Ross Stripling from the Dodgers in what will be a separate deal between the two clubs. The Angels will send infielder Luis Rengifo up the 5 freeway, along with a currently unknown prospect. Pederson has been a fantastic bat so far, with a .474 SLG and 123 home runs since he got the call in 2014. He hit a career-high 36 in 2019 while showing off his prowess in the home run derby. On top of being a big slugger, Pederson is a fantastic fielder. His 11 DRS and 6.2 UZR in 2019 signaled an adjustment in his approach in the outfield, and ups his value by quite a bit.
Pages is only 19, and thus a tricky profile. But one notion is of note, he hit 19 homers in rookie ball last year as an 18-year-old. His 165 wRC+ in the Pioneer League was the highest by an 18-year-old in the last 15 years. He projects for raw power, speed, and patience at the dish. He is currently the 23rd ranked prospect in the Dodger organization, and according to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America, he should slot into the 8-10 spot in the Angels farm.
Stripling, 30, has been a stable arm on the Dodgers staff, though only having 52 starts in 136 games, spending a majority of his time out of the bullpen. He will likely slot into a spot in the rotation in Anaheim. His career stats aren’t too shabby, posting a 3.51 ERA and 3.60 FIP. In 2018, when he started a career high 21 games, Stripling had a 3.02 ERA, 3.42 FIP, and 2.99 xFIP. He has a vast repertoire that includes an elite curveball and changeup with high whiff rates. He should add significant value to the Angels pitching staff, given he hits his ceiling.
Rengifo, 22, has been a fan favorite among Halo fans thus far, and hit .238/.321/.364 with an 86 wRC+ in 108 games at the MLB level last season, his first. He had 3 DRS and 2.0 UZR while playing second base. While he’s not a highly touted prospect, his on-base skills and above-average glove should bring solid depth to the Dodgers versatile infield.