1:40PM: Momentum towards a deal is building and there’s increased optimism that a trade—or trades—will take place, and there’s a chance that an announcement could come as early as today, according to Neal. The Twins and Dodgers are in direct discussions and Heyman reports that their part of the deal is “pretty set,” with Maeda heading to the Twins and Graterol going the other way. For what it’s worth, Neal adds that the Twins are now “expected to get a little more” than Maeda. If Heyman is correct, then the last remaining hurdle will be for the Dodgers to refine their package for Betts. Speculatively, that could involve Graterol being flipped to Boston, but the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier tweeted earlier that Graterol isn’t expected to be dealt to the Red Sox as part of any trade.
10:11AM: The Twins are indeed still involved in talks, though that doesn’t necessarily mean a three-team trade is happening, as Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal explain (both links to Twitter). The Twins “are working hard to satisfy [the] Dodgers and the Dodgers are working hard to satisfy [the] Red Sox, ” Rosenthal writes, but negotiations could result in two separate trades. One deal between the Dodgers and Red Sox would send Verdugo and prospects to Boston and Betts and Price to L.A., and another swap between the Dodgers and Twins would see Maeda go to Minnesota and Graterol possibly be part of a trade package going to Los Angeles. As Heyman notes, “non-Boston docs seem to have no big issue with Graterol [medicals],” so the Dodgers might be satisfied in accepting the young righty in exchange for Maeda.
TODAY, 8:51AM: The involved parties are “hopeful” that a Betts trade can be worked out, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets, as there has been “progress” in talks. Notably, Heyman tagged the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Twins in his tweet, which could hint that a three-team arrangement is still possible.
FEBRUARY 8: The Twins’ portion of the proposed three-team trade that would send Mookie Betts to the Dodgers is in jeopardy, according to La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Talks between the Twins, Dodgers, and Red Sox are ongoing and the current iteration of the trade is not entirely dead, according to reports from Joel Sherman of the New York Post and others, but the Twins have requested a prompt resolution one way or another. It seems there’s growing pessimism about the Twins’ involvement in the trade, so the Dodgers and Red Sox may have to explore alternative pathways towards its completion.
As part of the trade, the Twins were expected to send right-hander Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox, receiving Kenta Maeda in return and allowing the Dodgers to acquire Betts and David Price. However, after the Red Sox balked at Graterol’s medical history with questions about his long-term role, they requested another prospect from the Twins and talks have stalled. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman suggests that the Twins have expressed a willingness to include one of their top-20 prospects to push the deal across the goal line, but even that hasn’t met the Red Sox’ heightened asking price.
If the Twins do indeed back out of the deal, the Dodgers and Red Sox could still try to complete the trade themselves or rope in a new third team to facilitate the mega-deal. For the time being, though, the prospect of a Betts trade appears to have hit a considerable setback. With the Red Sox’ insistence on acquiring another of the Twins’ top prospects and Minnesota’s reluctance to concede, little progress has been made since the deal was first reported on Tuesday and something will have to give if the trade is to be completed.
In its entirety, the trade would have sent Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, while Alex Verdugo and Graterol would wind up in Boston with Maeda joining the Twins. In addition, the Dodgers and Angels had agreed in principle to a separate trade that would send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the crosstown Angels in exchange for Luis Rengifo and unidentified prospects. That deal, though, was contingent on the completion of the Dodgers/Red Sox/Twins swap and now itself appears in limbo.
Many around the game have voiced their frustration with the drama that has resulted from the Red Sox’ hesitation. MLBPA head Tony Clark, agent Scott Boras, and Angels owner Arte Moreno have all commented on the wide-ranging consequences of the delay. And with pitchers and catchers reporting to camp in the coming days, some of the players involved could be placed in awkward situation in which they would return to a team that has essential already agreed to trade them.
So while the Boston faithful may rejoice that their star outfielder remains with the team for the time being, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Betts, or any of the players involved, reports to Spring Training with their original teams. That alone should provide ample impetus to finalize the trade in short order. Whether that means the Red Sox following through with the trade as originally agreed to, or the inclusion of another piece to appease Boston, we’ll have to wait and find out.