Minnesota Twins – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-02-20T02:45:19Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Sign Cory Gearrin, Lane Adams]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190817 2020-02-19T19:18:52Z 2020-02-18T23:51:05Z The Twins have signed right-hander Cory Gearrin and outfielder Lane Adams to minor league contracts, per an announcement from Triple-A Rochester director of communications Nate Rowan.

Gearrin has been invited to Major League camp in Spring Training. He could earn a $1MM salary in the majors, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. It seems as though Adams will head directly to minor league camp.

Gearrin, 33, split the 2019 season between the Mariners and Yankees, pitching to a combined 4.07 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9 and a 44.8 percent ground-ball rate. That’s generally in line with the year-to-year results he’s posted across the past four seasons, although Gearrin’s 2017 campaign with the Giants is a notable outlier; that year saw him rack up 68 innings of 1.99 ERA ball — albeit with less encouraging secondary stats (8.5 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 88 percent strand rate, 3.89 FIP, 4.65 xFIP).

Generally speaking, though, Gearrin has been a durable and serviceable middle relief option. He’s jumped from the Giants to the Rangers, A’s, Mariners and Yankees in that time but posted a cumulative 3.42 ERA (3.96 FIP) with 209 punchouts against 95 walks in 229 innings of work. He doesn’t throw hard, averaging about 92 mph on his sinker, but he’s typically done a good job keeping the ball in the yard since returning from 2014 Tommy John surgery.

As for Adams, the 30-year-old has appeared in parts of three MLB seasons (2016-18) and tallied a combined .263/.333/.467 slash in 154 plate appearances. However, Adams has struck out in 31 percent of his MLB plate appearances and 30 percent of his trips to the plate in Triple-A, where he carries a much more tepid .233/.306/.390 slash through 234 games. Still, Adams can handle any of the three outfield positions and offers some power and speed as a depth option in the upper minors.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[This Date In Transactions History: Odo On The Move]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190734 2020-02-18T05:57:45Z 2020-02-18T05:57:45Z It has been exactly two years since the Twins bolstered their roster with a trade that continues to benefit their rotation. On Feb. 17, 2018, the Twins acquired right-hander Jake Odorizzi from the Rays for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios.

Jake Odorizzi | Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

Odorizzi had two years of control left at the time of the deal and was entering a season in which he’d earn a reasonable $6.3MM via arbitration. The trade brought an end to months of rumors centering on Odorizzi, who garnered interest from a variety of clubs leading up to the Twins’ acquisition. It was already the third trade in Odorizzi’s career, as the 2008 second-round pick of the Brewers previously went from the Brew Crew to the Royals in a 2010 blockbuster and from Kansas City to Tampa Bay in another headline-grabber two years later.

Then entering his age-28 season, Odorizziwas coming off a successful four-year run when he arrived in Minnesota. From his first full season in 2014 through 2017, he registered 120 starts and 668 1/3 innings (30 and 167 per year, respectively) of 3.81 ERA ball. ERA indicators such as FIP (4.23) and xFIP (4.33) weren’t as favorable, but they still painted him as a quality big league starter.

Odorizzi helped his cause by logging 8.31 K/9 against 2.96 BB/9 in his four full years as a Ray, but he generated groundballs at a meager 33.9 percent clip. He still managed to dodge home runs as a member of Tampa Bay, with which he gave them up on just over 11 percent of fly balls. But Odorizzi yielded long balls more than ever in 2017, when he surrendered them a career-worst 15.5 percent of the time. He also posted a relatively bloated walk rate (3.83 per nine, compared to 7.97 K/9) en route to a 4.14 ERA with a far worse 5.43 FIP/5.10 xFIP over 143 1/3 frames.

Although Odorizzi’s last season as a Ray was mediocre, he has rebounded as a Twin. Minnesota’s version has worked to a 3.78 ERA/3.88 FIP across 62 starts and 323 1/3 innings. He still isn’t inducing grounders that often, having done so at a 31.5 percent rate, yet has recorded sub-9 percent HR-to-FB marks in both seasons with the club. Odorizzi was especially effective in 2019, which went down as his first All-Star campaign. He amassed 159 innings of 3.51 ERA/3.36 FIP ball to help the Twins rack up 101 wins and take home their first AL Central title since 2010. Along the way, Odorizzi set career highs in K/9 (10.08, against 3.00 BB/9) and swinging-strike percentage (12.7), thanks in part to a noticeable increase in velocity. His fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range in previous years, but the mean jumped to 92.9 last season.

Once his personal-best campaign ended, Odorizzi looked likely to parlay his success with the Twins into a lucrative multiyear deal. Instead, though, he decided to accept the Twins’ $17.8MM qualifying offer, setting him up to stay with the hopeful World Series contenders for at least one more season. The Twins, for their part, are now in line to get three years of an important rotation cog for the affordable sum of $33.6MM (including 2018-19; Odorizzi made $9.5MM last season).

On the other hand, the Rays haven’t made out as well in the trade. Owing in part to its innovative opener strategy, the team has carried on just fine without Odorizzi, having combined for 186 wins since parting with him. The Rays made the playoffs last year and look like strong bets to challenge for the postseason again in 2020. However, it’s highly questionable whether they’ll ever receive any contributions from Palacios.

Twenty-one years old at the time of the trade, Palacios ranked as one of the Twins’ 30 best prospects during his time with the franchise, though he simply hasn’t panned out in the minors with the Rays. Palacios has reached Double-A ball in each of his two seasons with the Tampa Bay organization, but he has combined for a meek .192/.255/.272 line with three homers in 320 plate appearances at that level.

Always willing to experiment, the Rays did dabble in using Palacios as a pitcher in the minors last season, and he did show encouraging velocity during that brief stint on the mound. Still, it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll make it to the majors in any capacity. Meanwhile, the Twins will go forward content with landing one of their most valuable starters for a prospect who hasn’t found his niche to this point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Byron Buxton Progressing From Shoulder Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190555 2020-02-15T18:26:41Z 2020-02-15T18:06:18Z
  • The prognosis seems to be better for Twins center fielder Byron Buxton. Buxton hit off a tee today and hopes to progress to soft toss by next week, per various reports (including from Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com and Aaron Gleeman of the Athletic). Per Gleeman, manager Rocco Baldelli expressed optimism earlier this week that Buxton could return from the shoulder surgery that ended his 2019 season by Opening Day.
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    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[MLBTR Video: Betts/Price/Maeda Deals Official; MLB Considering Radical Changes To Playoff Structure]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=190025 2020-02-11T17:10:52Z 2020-02-11T17:10:52Z An action-packed day in MLB, as Mookie Betts, David Price (and Joc Pederson) are officially Dodgers, Kenta Maeda is officially a member of the Twins, MLB is considering radical changes to the playoff structure, a former pitcher and trash can victim is suing the Astros, and the Diamondbacks lock up Nick Ahmed. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd makes sense of everything in our latest video:

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Twins Acquire Kenta Maeda]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189855 2020-02-11T12:11:56Z 2020-02-11T01:36:23Z FEBRUARY 10, 7:36pm: This deal is now official.

    6:36pm: Young catcher Jair Camargo represents the last piece of the puzzle going to Minnesota, per Dan Hayes of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    FEBRUARY 9, 6:35pm: The Twins are sending outfielder Luke Raley to the Dodgers as the final piece of the package heading to California, per MLB Insider Jeff Passan (via Twitter). Interestingly, Raley was originally drafted by the Dodgers. He was traded to Minnesota as part of the Brian Dozier deadline deal in 2018. Raley, 25, rejoins the Dodgers organization after hitting .302/.362/.516 in 33 games at Triple-A Rochester in 2019.

    5:32pm: Interestingly enough, now that the Mookie Betts to the Dodgers deal is again near completion, the rest of the baseball world can move on. That includes the Minnesota Twins, who are completing their leg of this mega-deal in a new iteration.

    The Twins will now receive right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda, along with $10MM cash from the Dodgers, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links). They are also likely to receive a lower level prospect from the Dodgers, per Rosenthal, though the name of that prospect has not yet been revealed. Another report has the Twins sending an additional prospect to the Dodgers, per The Athletic’s Dan Hayes. That player is said to be an outfielder, per MLB Networks Jon Heyman.

    If your head is spinning at this point, that’s okay. In total, Maeda, $10MM cash and a prospect is headed to the Twins for Brusdar Graterol, a draft pick (#67 overall) and another prospect. Deals are still pending physicals, which of course, is no small caveat, though expectations are that the deal will go through. We’ll keep this post updated as the names of those final prospects come rolling in.

    The Dodgers will now keep Graterol, presumably making him a part of their bullpen picture in 2020. It’s certainly an interesting gambit for the Dodgers to take on Graterol after the Red Sox passed. Regardless, he becomes another weapon for the Dodgers to use in their quest to return to the World Series. He may even be the perfect candidate to take on the multi-inning fireman role that Maeda had played for the Dodgers over the past few postseasons. Alternatively, if Kenley Jansen’s struggles continue, Graterol could step into a finishing role. However they plan on using him, the Dodgers not only added one of the best player’s in the game today, but also a high-risk, high-reward young hurler.

    For the Twins, they get a reliable arm for their rotation at little financial investment to slot in with Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi at the top of their rotation. Even Maeda wins here, as he gets the security of starting for a playoff contender, something he’s long desired, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Maeda has a fairly complex contract, but given the money being sent Minnesota’s way, the Twinkies have Maeda for the next four seasons at very reasonable rates. Maeda is only really assured of earning $3.15MM in each of the next four seasons by way of a $3MM base contact and $150K bonus for making the opening day roster. Of course, with Maeda in the rotation, there’s room for him to raise his worth on an annual basis with up to $6.5MM in potential bonuses.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Red Sox Announce Deal Sending Mookie Betts, David Price To Dodgers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189964 2020-02-11T01:15:42Z 2020-02-11T00:40:56Z The Red Sox have officially announced a long-awaited swap to send superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and starter David Price to the Dodgers.

    The Boston organization will pay down half of Price’s $96MM remaining contractual obligations. In return, the Sox will acquire outfielder Alex Verdugo, infield prospect Jeter Downs, and minor-league catcher Connor Wong.

    New Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom announced the blockbuster, saying that “it’s reasonable to expect we’re going to be worse without” Betts and Price. (Alex Speier of the Boston Globe is among those covering the presser on Twitter.) That’s stating the obvious. At the same time, Bloom says he anticipates a competitive roster that can realistically compete.

    So, why do the deal? Not long ago, Bloom says, he expected to keep Betts for 2020. But “teams stepped forward” with increased offers over the course of the offseason. The ultimate package achieved constitutes a “major step forward” for the Boston organization’s future, in Bloom’s view.

    You may recall that an initial formulation of this deal included young righty Brusdar Graterol, with supposed health issues said to have scuttled that arrangement. Bloom didn’t talk about that directly, but did deny that fan reaction had any role in the implosion of the earlier trade structure. Graterol is now ticketed for the Dodgers in a separate but related swap.

    The deal wasn’t just driven by the Red Sox’ desire to dip below the competitive balance tax line, Bloom said. In fact, as the Globe’s Peter Abraham characterizes his comments on Twitter, Bloom would’ve been open to dealing away the franchise cornerstone in the interest of long-term sustainability even had the club not needed to do so to reset their luxury obligations. That’s a notable and somewhat startling statement from the top baseball ops exec of one of the game’s blue-chip teams regarding his organization’s approach to competition and roster-building — particularly given that Bloom emphasized that he still sees this as a winning roster.

    George Miller <![CDATA[Latest On Mookie Betts Trade Talks]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189755 2020-02-11T16:11:36Z 2020-02-09T19:45:10Z 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.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Scott Boras Discusses Brusdar Graterol]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189721 2020-02-08T06:03:01Z 2020-02-08T06:03:01Z
  • The reason the Pederson trade hasn’t gone down yet is the delay in the Mookie Betts swap featuring the Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins. The Red Sox are reportedly wary of the health of Twins righty Brusdar Graterol, who’s one of at least two players they’ll get back in the deal. They seem worried he’s destined to be a reliever, not a starter. But Graterol’s agent, Scott Boras, insisted Friday that his client still has an opportunity to become a starter in the majors (via Alex Speier of the Boston Globe).  “I had this conversation with the Minnesota staff,” Boras said. “There’s a very clear probability that this player will return to be a starting pitcher.” While Graterol’s a past Tommy John surgery patient who missed a large chunk of time last year with a shoulder impingement, doctors have informed Boras that the 21-year-old will be fine going forward. “No doctor has told me that there is anything about his future going forward other than that it is very bright and he has no limitations,” Boras stated.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Checking In On Last Year’s AL Division Champs]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189693 2020-02-08T00:57:31Z 2020-02-08T00:57:31Z Most or all of last year’s division winners figure to enter the upcoming season as the favorites to repeat, but some degree of turnover is inevitable. Last season, for instance, three of the game’s six divisions crowned new champions. You never know which winner(s) from a year ago will off, but you can make educated guesses based on the offseasons clubs have had. With spring training right around the corner, let’s begin by taking a look at how the reigning AL divisions champs have fared this winter. All of those clubs won 100-plus games and took home their divisions by large margins in 2019. Has the gap closed on any of them?

    AL West – Astros (107-65; won division by 10 games):

    • As those who follow the game even a little bit know, this has been the winter of discontent for the typically dominant Astros. There’s no more GM Jeff Luhnow or manager A.J. Hinch, both fired for their roles in the team’s 2017 sign-stealing scandal. They’ve since been replaced by James Click and Dusty Baker, respectively. Those two are in the strange spot of inheriting a team that, despite three straight 100-win seasons and last year’s AL pennant, is in a tumultuous position. There’s still plenty of talent on hand, but the Astros have lost some of their major pieces from 2019 (Gerrit Cole, Will Harris, Wade Miley and Robinson Chirinos) and, thanks in part to luxury-tax concerns, haven’t really made any moves to get better. Meanwhile, their greatest challenger in the AL West, Oakland, continues to look formidable, and two of the division’s other teams (the Rangers and Angels) have worked hard to improve themselves.

    AL East – Yankees (103-59; won division by seven games)

    • New York’s a popular World Series pick after swiping Cole from Houston, though the Yankees’ rotation suffered a blow earlier this week with the announcement that lefty James Paxton will miss three to four months after undergoing back surgery. It’s the latest notable injury for a Yankees team that endured one after another a season ago. Despite Paxton’s issues and the Tommy John surgery center fielder Aaron Hicks underwent last fall, the club’s clearly banking on better health in 2020, as it hasn’t made any major transactions aside from signing Cole and re-upping outfielder Brett Gardner (both were important moves, granted). The Yanks also lost two longtime key contributors – shortstop Didi Gregorius and reliever Dellin Betances – to free agency, though they did just fine last year despite having to go significant stretches without them (Betances essentially missed the whole season). Looking around their division, the Yankees remain the clear front-runners, though the Rays should be legitimate challengers again. The Red Sox are in line to get markedly worse if their Mookie Betts trade goes through; the Blue Jays have upgraded their roster, but they still look a ways away from seriously taking on the Yankees; and there’s no doubt the Orioles will be the division’s whipping boys yet again.

    AL Central – Twins (101-61; won division by eight games)

    • An offense that set the all-time home run record with 307 last season has seemingly gotten even stronger this winter with the signing of $92MM third baseman Josh Donaldson, who smacked 37 as a Brave in 2019. While the Twins’ offense is terrifying, there’s less certainty surrounding its pitching staff. Minnesota hasn’t been able to pull in an ace-type starter since the prior campaign concluded, but it has been active in addressing its rotation. Jake Odorizzi’s back, having accepted the Twins’ qualifying offer. So is Michael Pineda, whom they re-signed on a multiyear deal, though he’ll miss the early portion of 2020 as a result of a PED suspension from last season. Likewise, new addition Rich Hill (injured) won’t be ready from the outset. But the Twins did bring in revived veteran Homer Bailey alongside Hill, and if the aforementioned Betts trade becomes official, they’ll also pick up the underrated Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. Minnesota will continue to look like a quality team even if the Maeda addition falls through, but it could face more resistance in its division. The Indians haven’t made many (any?) high-end acquisitions in recent months, but they still boast a solid roster. The White Sox appear to have gotten much better thanks to a slew of noteworthy moves, and even the last-place Tigers have made an effort to increase their talent.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Clark, Boras, Moreno Upset With Betts Swap Hold-Up]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189687 2020-02-07T23:03:07Z 2020-02-07T22:32:34Z 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).

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Potential Mookie Betts Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189506 2020-02-07T16:35:15Z 2020-02-07T16:33:16Z February 7: The trade is expected to become official today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets, citing sources from multiple teams involved in the deal. Completion of the Betts blockbuster would serve as a precursor for the finalization of the Dodgers’ Pederson/Stripling trade with the Angels as well.

    It’s not yet clear what type of alterations, if any, will be made to the deal. Heyman tweeted earlier this morning that the Red Sox have been seeking an additional top prospect from the Twins, although it’s difficult to envision the Twins parting with another highly regarded talent without additional pieces being sent their way.

    February 6, 8:27PM: “Some involved [in the trade] are now suggesting it’s not a certainty,” MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets, as the holdup continues to center around the Red Sox, Twins, and Graterol’s condition.  Boston is reportedly trying to “reconfigure” its end of the deal with the Twins, “meaning more than Graterol” would head from Minnesota to Fenway Park.

    1:03 AM: There’s only a “slim” chance this trade will completely fall apart, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. The delay “is a problem but one we can figure out,” a source involved in the trade told Passan.

    February 5: It has been more than 24 hours since the Mookie Betts trade was first reported, but the potential blockbuster featuring the Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins still hasn’t been finalized as we head into Thursday. There’s still confidence the deal will be completed, but there may end up being more pieces involved in the trade, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription link).

    The Red Sox are slated to send Betts and left-hander David Price (and approximately half of the remaining $96MM on his contract) to the Dodgers. In return, the Red Sox are set to get outfielder Alex Verdugo from LA and righty Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota. The Twins are in line to receive righty Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers.

    Despite missing the final couple of months of last season with back/oblique/core problems, Verdugo has already been medically cleared, according to Rosenthal. However, Rosenthal writes that the Red Sox do have some concerns over the hard-throwing Graterol, whom they now regard as more of a reliever than a starter after looking at his medical records. Notably, Graterol’s a past Tommy John surgery patient who has also dealt with other injuries. The 21-year-old missed two months last season with shoulder issues that limited him to a combined 70 2/3 innings at four different levels (including 9 2/3 in the bigs).

    While it still seems that Boston will acquire Graterol if the trade does occur, Rosenthal notes the club may also require another player and/or cash considerations from either the Dodgers or Twins to push it over the goal line. Assuming the three teams are able to reach some sort of compromise on what would go down as one of the most significant trades in recent history, it should open the door for yet another high-profile swap involving the Dodgers. They’re working to move outfielder Joc Pederson and hurler Ross Stripling as part of a deal with the Angels, but that’s delayed as the Dodgers await word on the Betts deal.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Twins Win Arbitration Hearing Against Jose Berrios]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189545 2020-02-06T18:47:37Z 2020-02-06T18:47:37Z The Twins have won their arbitration hearing against right-hander Jose Berrios, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. He’d filed for a $4.4MM salary but will now be paid at the $4.025MM figure submitted by Minnesota.

    Berrios, 25, just wrapped up his first 200-inning season and turned in his third consecutive sub-4.00 ERA season, working to a career-best 3.68 ERA with 8.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9. The former No. 32 overall pick has emerged as Minnesota’s most effective starter since cementing himself as a big league regular, pitching to a combined 3.80 ERA with a strikeout per frame through 538 1/3 innings and earning a pair of All-Star bids along the way.

    Berrios’ relatively affordable salary for the upcoming season only serves to underscore the difficulty that first-time-arbitration-eligible starters have had in moving the needle forward. Dallas Keuchel is still the only first-time-eligible starting pitcher to topple the $4.35MM benchmark set by Dontrelle Willis way back in 2006, and it took Keuchel winning a Cy Young Award to do so. Others starters who have been in position to best that mark (e.g. Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum, Aaron Nola) have instead opted for multi-year deals.

    That there’s only one example of a pitcher besting Willis’ mark — and that it took extraordinary circumstances — emphatically drives home the reason that teams are willing to go to hearings over what appear to be such trivial sums. The Twins, like other clubs that have drawn a hard line in comparable situations, surely care less about immediate cost savings than they do about preserving the standards that allow arbitration salaries to remain so manageable.

    If the Twins (and every other club) simply conceded and met the player in the middle, those contractual agreements would be used as data points in future arbitration negotiations. Were it not for teams continually drawing a hard line, the Twins and Berrios would’ve been arguing over figures much greater than the ones discussed in today’s hearing. That’s not to suggest that teams are in the right or wrong to take such firm stances — even against their best players — but rather to point out that their motivation for doing so is rather obvious when considering the full breadth of the arbitration mechanism.

    As for Berrios, he doesn’t hold any hard feelings toward the Twins organization, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North Radio tweets. Berrios has made it clear in the past that he’s keenly aware of the business side of the equation. He said as much when revealing last spring that he turned down an extension overture from the Twins, and it’s surely no coincidence that the number he filed would’ve bested the aforementioned Willis benchmark — even if only by a narrow margin of $50,000. Again, every slight step forward would factor into future negotiations for other first-time-eligible pitchers.

    The Twins and Berrios can, of course, continue to discuss a long-term deal. Minnesota controls him through the 2022 season, leaving plenty of time to broker a deal. Given his previous quotes about the financial side of the game — I have to manage my business, too. … We’re waiting for the best for both sides,” Berrios told Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune last spring — it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be signing on for a team-friendly discount.

    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[MLBTR Video: Mookie Betts Trade Hits A Snag; James Paxton To Miss Time]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189520 2020-02-06T16:26:30Z 2020-02-06T15:56:37Z The Dodgers’ acquisition of Mookie Betts has been held up, while Yankees starter James Paxton will be out until at least May.  Jeff Todd has the details in our latest video:

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jake Odorizzi On Accepting Qualifying Offer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189492 2020-02-06T04:31:32Z 2020-02-06T04:31:32Z
  • Twins righty Jake Odorizzi decided to forgo free agency this offseason in favor of the team’s $17.8MM qualifying offer. Odorizzi may have done better on the open market – MLBTR predicted a three year, $51MM payday – but he doesn’t regret his choice to stick with Minnesota on a short-term deal. “Not a bit,” he told Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. “I made my decision based on the best knowledge we had at the time. Money started flying around pretty quick, and the market got pretty hot, but nobody predicted that.” Indeed, there has been far more money distributed in free agency than many anticipated when the offseason began. Odorizzi’s now left to hope the cash will continue flowing next winter if he gets to free agency, though Miller writes that he remains “open to” a long-term pact with the Twins.
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    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[MLBTR Video: Dodgers Acquire Betts & Price; Twins Get Maeda]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=189409 2020-02-06T16:27:37Z 2020-02-05T17:00:44Z A franchise-altering three-team blockbuster was struck, as the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts and David Price, the Twins got Kenta Maeda, and the Red Sox received Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol. But wait, there’s more! The Angels are expected to acquire Joc Pederson, the Giants signed Wilmer Flores, and the Mets’ sale to Steve Cohen is in jeopardy! MLBTR’s Jeff Todd runs through a wild day for the MLB hot stove in today’s video.