After reportedly agreeing to a three-way trade on Tuesday that was set to send former AL MVP Mookie Betts and former AL Cy Young winner David Price to the Dodgers, right-hander Kenta Maeda to the Twins, and outfielder Alex Verdugo and pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox, Boston evidently had some second thoughts later in the week (largely due to concerns over Graterol’s health and his ability to be a starter in the near future), which temporarily the deal in jeopardy. But nearly five days later, the teams have worked things out with a series of trades. Betts and Price (who will have half of his remaining $96 million salary paid by the Red Sox, per The Athletic’s Chad Jennings) will go to Los Angeles in exchange for Verdugo, infield prospect Jeter Downs, and catching prospect Connor Wong, while the Dodgers will send Maeda and $10 million to the Twins in exchange for Graterol, outfield prospect Luke Raley, and the 67th pick in the 2020 draft. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jeff Passan had the details on Sunday night:
Catching prospect Connor Wong is headed to the Boston Red Sox alongside outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs in the trade that will send outfielder Mookie Betts, starter David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. Players have been notified.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 9, 2020
Deals coming together. #Dodgers in agreement with #MNTwins, pending medical review - Maeda and cash would go to MIN for Graterol and another prospect. Other elements perhaps. Meanwhile, per @JeffPassan, LAD and #RedSox in agreement on Betts and Price for Verdugo-Jeter Downs-plus.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 9, 2020
Outfielder Luke Raley is the prospect headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Brusdar Graterol and the 67th pick in the trade that sends Kenta Maeda and $10M cash to Minnesota, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Raley hit .302/.362/.516 at Triple-A last season.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 10, 2020
If you’re going strictly by current prospect valuation, this version of the deal does sweeten the pot a bit for the Red Sox, who now get a current top-100 prospect in Downs. The 22-year-old middle infielder, who was traded from the Reds to the Dodgers last offseason in a deal that sent Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer, and Alex Wood to Cincinnati, is ranked as the No. 44 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The No. 32 overall pick in the 2017 draft hit .276/.362/.526 with 24 homers over 535 plate appearances between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa last season while seeing action at both shortstop and second base.
With that said, Graterol was much more highly thought of as a starting pitching prospect a year ago, and at just 21 years old, it’s possible that he could rebuild his reputation rather quickly. It’s not a slam dunk that Downs will be a more impactful piece for the Red Sox than Graterol would’ve been — his health just seems to be a bit more dependable at the moment.
The biggest winner of the revised deal(s) is the Dodgers. In addition to getting arguably the second-best player in baseball and a pitcher who was the second-best starter in a World Series-winning rotation a year-and-a-half ago, they’ll now add a top-100 pitching prospect in Graterol, a slugging outfielder in Raley (.310/.361/.517 in 2019) who you just know they’ll turn into a big-league contributor at some point, and the 67th overall pick in this year’s draft. While it may have been part of the deal all along and just wasn’t reported before, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Boston is paying down Price’s salary, either. It wasn’t that hard to cast the Dodgers as the favorites to win the NL pennant a week ago, but this series of deals heightens those odds even more — and if players like Graterol and Raley work out, it could help them to remain dominant for years to come.