Right-hander Brusdar Graterol was part of the first version of a three-team trade sending Mookie Betts from the Red Sox to the Dodgers. But the Red Sox backed out of acquiring Graterol, then with the Twins, in favor of a different package. The Red Sox were concerned that the flamethrowing 21-year-old wouldn’t project as a starter, and they had worries about his health, thereby causing them to back out of landing him. The Dodgers “didn’t disregard” the Red Sox’s reservations about Graterol, according to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, but they’re happy to have the 21-year-old after acquiring him from the Twins and Betts from the Red Sox in separate trades. “A guy with his stuff, it’s just a different look for our bullpen,” Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior told Castillo. “The ability to bring that kind of raw power, impact into the game is only a good thing for us.” After a period of uncertainty, Graterol is relieved to know where he’ll be playing going forward. “I really felt like I had a weight on top of me,” Graterol said, “not knowing what to do with the situation.”
Here’s more from the National League…
- Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant is two seasons away from possibly reaching free agent, but famed agent Scott Boras is already touting his client’s value when asked. Boras told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times: “How valuable is Kris Bryant?” He is truly glue. He’s the glue of the team, where if there is a gap offensively or defensively he’s there to fill it. Now he just needs an appropriate nickname, and that is ‘Elmer.’ Because he’s Elmer’s Glue for the Cubs.” And considering Bryant has shown an ability to line up at more than one position and hit in multiple spots in the Cubs’ lineup, Boras said he and others in his office have taken to calling him ”Island Boy.” Whatever nickname you want to give Bryant, it appears he’ll remain a Cub despite an offseason rife with trade rumors. The 28-year-old and the Cubs indicated earlier this week they expect to stay together this season.
- There have been rumblings regarding a trade that would sent Bryant to the Rockies and fellow superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado to the Cubs. Those discussions became serious enough during the winter that both teams’ owners were on the phone with one another, but the talks didn’t get “that close,” Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com writes. Bryant and Arenado now seem as if they’ll stay where they are, at least to begin the season. Arenado addressed the Cubs rumors, though, per Rogers, saying: “That would have been interesting. That would have been crazy.”
- As with Graterol, Bryant and Arenado, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was a prominent part of trade rumors over the winter. But like Bryant and Arenado, he hasn’t gone anywhere. The former Rookie of the Year didn’t pay much attention to that speculation, however, as Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register relays. Seager said he was “not bothered, maybe surprised is a better word” by the fact that his name came up in trade talks. Now, barring a blockbuster shortstop acquisition for the Dodgers (Francisco Lindor, for example), they’ll go into the upcoming season with Seager as their starter at the spot. They’re still in better position than most teams there, as the 25-year-old Seager has been one of the game’s finest shortstops since he debuted in 2015.