Plenty of fans and folks in the game are no doubt frustrated by the uncertainty hanging over a dramatic duo of prospective trades centered around superstar Mookie Betts. MLBPA chief Tony Clark made clear that he’s got even bigger problems with the situation in a statement today.
“The proposed trades between the Dodgers, Red Sox, Twins, and Angels need to be resolved without further delay,” Clark says in the statement. “The events of this last week have unfairly put several Players’ lives in a state of limbo.”
Clark is referring, of course, to (a) the proposed three-team swap between the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Twins that involves Betts, David Price, Kenta Maeda, Alex Verdugo, and Brusdar Graterol; and (b) the cross-town deal that would send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Angels in exchange for Luis Rengifo, with other pre-MLB players also involved. These trades were reported on Tuesday but remain unresolved.
The slow speed of concluding the dealmaking isn’t the only thing that drew Clark’s ire. Reports have indicated that issues surrounding the health of Graterol gummed up the swaps. Clark is understandably displeased with those disclosures and the role they’ve played in keeping these players in limbo.
Clark continued: “The unethical leaking of medical information as well as the perversion of the salary arbitration process serve as continued reminders that too often Players are treated as commodities by those running the game.”
Uber-agent Scott Boras, who reps Graterol, also chimed in (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network, on Twitter). He notes that the young flamethrower was operating at full tilt late last season and knocked the Red Sox’ apparent medical concerns. “They’re relying on a cursory medical record review,” says Boras, “yet noted orthopedic doctors who saw him say there’s no issue going forward.”
These comments represent is the latest volley in a long-running, multi-front battle between the union and league. Labor relations remain fraught. Evan Drellich of The Athletic recently noted on Twitter that anticipated early bargaining discussions have yet to materialize.
As for the twin Dodgers deals, it seems that frustrations are building from various quarters. Angels owner Arte Moreno is said to be furious that the hold-up of the first deal has left his organization in flux, per Heyman (via Twitter).