At least one leg of the Mookie Betts marathon trade has fallen through. The Dodgers and Angels will not complete their previously agreed upon deal, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The nails of the deal would have sent Joc Pederson , Ross Stripling and prospect Andy Pages to the Angels in exchange for Luis Rengifo.
Angels owner Arte Moreno was reportedly unhappy with the delay of the original deal, but it’s unclear if that’s the driving factor in the breakdown of this deal. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the terms of the original deal were dependent upon the original Betts trade. The final iteration of the deal that landed Betts in Los Angeles made this subsequent trade “unnecessary.” It’s entirely unclear at this time if the Dodgers or Angels are putting the kibosh on the deal at this stage, per Rosenthal.
It doesn’t make a lot of intuitive sense that the newest iteration of the Betts trade would make the Pederson leg moot. The new trade actually sends an additional outfielder to the Dodgers (Luke Raley from Minnesota), as well as an additional pitcher in Brusdar Graterol who could fill much the same role that Stripling has in years past. They are also sending money to Minnesota, which would presumably encourage the egress of player payroll in the form of Pederson and/or Stripling. With Betts, Cody Bellinger, and some collection of A.J. Pollock, Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty and Enrique Hernandez on hand to man the outfield (before dipping into their depth in Triple-A), Pederson certainly represents a moveable piece.
He should be an attractive trade chip at that, given his affordable $7.75MM expiring contract this season and ~127 wRC+ over the past two seasons. The Dodgers shouldn’t struggle to find a trade partner for Stripling either, should they reengage on that front. Stripling is owed just $2.1MM this season and he’s controllable for another two beyond. The Dodgers have been able to somewhat protect the 30-year-old because of their depth, but he has nonetheless put up solid numbers: 3.51 ERA/3.60 FIP across 387 innings over the past four seasons with an All-Star appearance to his credit. It certainly makes sense for somebody to give Stripling the opportunity to start full-time, should the Dodgers look to move him again.