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MLB Trade Rumors and News: Mookie Betts deal in limbo, James Paxton undergoes back surgery

Is the Betts deal in jeopardy? The short answer is: probably not

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • The monster trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers captivated the entire baseball world given the names and teams involved. We haven’t seen a trade of that magnitude in quite some time. Yesterday, however, it was revealed that the reason why the deal hasn’t been made official yet is due to issues with the medical review of one of the prospects in the trade, Brusdar Graterol. However, that doesn’t mean that the deal is dead and it is far more likely to be adjusted than to be scrapped altogether.
  • Some guys are just dealt more bad luck than others. Case in point: James Paxton. While healthy, he has shown the ability to be one of the better pitchers in the league...but he has never really shown the ability to consistently stay on the field. Yesterday, it was announced that he had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst on his spine and will miss the next three or four months.
  • The addition of Betts further solidified a Los Angeles outfield mix that also includes Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock as starters with Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández, Matt Beaty, and Kyle Garlick as potential depth options, so the Dodgers turned around and made a deal with their SoCal neighbors on Tuesday night, trading Joc Pederson to the Angels in a move that net them infielder Luis Rengifo.
  • In what was the biggest move made by an NL West team Tuesday until about 9:00 p.m. ET, the Giants signed versatile infielder and lefty masher Wilmer Flores to a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Flores is a lifetime .387/.439/.639 hitter in 132 plate appearances against the Giants, so they’ll be glad to have him on their side in 2020 and beyond.
  • The Astros have been dealing with a mess of their own making this offseason. After snagging Dusty Baker to fill in as their skipper in the wake of the sign stealing scandal that rocked the entire league, the organization made the move to bring on former Rays executive James Click to be their new general manager for what is going to be a very important time in the franchise’s history.
  • The Mariners are having to look long-term for their playoff aspirations, but things appear to be going well for them on that front as they have some exciting young talent on the way. To prepare themselves down the road, they locked up their durable young lefty Marco Gonzales with a four-year contract extension.
  • The Cubs’ brazen use of MLB’s service time rules in order to gain an extra year of control over Kris Bryant was about as obvious of a case of service time manipulation as a team can do without outright saying that they were holding him down in the minors for that purpose. As a result, a decision on Bryant’s grievance regarding the matter took longer than expected, but he still came out on the losing side.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: The Red Sox are bringing back veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland, signing him to his third short-term deal in four years. This contract, which guarantees Moreland $3 million, is a one-year pact but includes a club option for 2021.
  • The Diamondbacks have acquired Starling Marte from the Pirates. In exchange for the two-time Gold Glover, Pittsburgh will be receiving infield prospect Liover Peguero, right-handed pitching prospect Brennan Malone, and international bonus pool space. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, seem to be beyond determined this winter.
  • The Reds have become another odd but not confusing force of nature this offseason. Their latest endeavor is signing Nick Castellanos to a four-year deal. This powerhouse at the plate is set to make $64M for his time in Cincy. He joins Mike Moustaskas, Shogo Akiyama, and Wade Miley on the list of guys you’ll spend 2020 repeating, “Oh right, he’s on the Reds now” about.
  • Mitch Haniger’s breakout 2018 season now feels like it was a long time ago. After a 2019 season that was, by most accounts, disappointing and punctuated by a truly painful injury, Haniger was hoping that 2020 was going to be better. Unfortunately, an abdominal injury while working out is now leading to surgery and will keep him out for at least most of spring training.
  • The Mets’ managerial situation got thrown into chaos when Carlos Beltran, who they hired earlier this offseason to manage the club, was a prominent character in MLB’s report on the Astros stealing signs in the regular season and postseason. The fallout ultimately included Beltran and the Mets parting ways. New York decided to look internally for another candidate, and they found their man as Luis Rojas was tabbed for the job.
  • After losing Josh Donaldson to the Twins in free agency, the Braves added some punch back to their lineup, signing outfielder Marcell Ozuna to a one-year, $18 million deal. They’ll be hoping that Ozuna returns to the elite offensive form he displayed in his final season with the Marlins in 2017 — and so will Ozuna, who’s betting on himself in hopes of following Donaldson’s lead and earning a lucrative long-term deal next offseason.
  • The Rockies’ Nolan Arenado has been at the top of a lot of teams’ wish lists this offseason even though it was very unclear as to how likely that ever was to happen. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich went on to say that he expected Nolan to be in Colorado for the 2020 season and that they are not talking about trades anymore. However, all is not well, as Arenado — whether it’s because he was being shopped in the first place, because the Rockies haven’t invested in a better core around him, or a combination of both — is very clearly not happy with the team and has voiced his displeasure. Maybe we’ll get an Arenado trade after all.
  • In a rather unexpected twist, Josh Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million deal with the Twins, padding Minnesota’s status as AL Central frontrunners and solidifying their lineup as one of the best in baseball. Donaldson’s deal is the second-richest ever for a player 33 or older, trailing only Kevin Brown’s seven-year, $105 million deal with the Dodgers.
  • The Twins have signed Miguel Sanó to a three-year, $30 million extension with club option for 2023. The 26-year old slashed .247/.346/.576 with 34 home runs last season, after having an incredibly pathetic 2018 that saw him drop down to Single-A. In 2017, Sanó was accused of sexual misconduct but did not receive any form of punishment from Major League Baseball.
  • While free agency has been the busiest and most productive it has been in three years this offseason, they hasn’t been much in the way of trades. As a result, it was nice to see a real trade with prospects and everything as St. Louis sent José Martínez and Randy Arozarena to Tampa in exchange for star pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and a low-minors catching prospect. The teams also swapped comp-round picks in the deal.