The Twins have reportedly pulled out of the Mookie Betts mega-deal after three full days of uncertainty on the matter. After the surprising move to land another starter fell through, the front office refused to be bullied by the Red Sox and have walked away from the table. And despite everyone involved being right back where they started, there was no winner in this fiasco.
While Minnesota does get to keep their promising flamethrower, they lost what was seemingly a steal of a deal for a good starting pitcher. Although the starting rotation will be alright, Kenta Maeda would have been a great addition for this year and the future. Furthermore, the Red Sox likely completely tanked any trade value that Brusdar Graterol had by being so hung up on his medical history.
On the human half of the equation, it will certainly be a little bit awkward reporting to camp for Graterol. Hopefully, he’ll be able to understand the business side of the game and won’t hold a grudge against the team. He should still have a good shot at being a weapon in the big-league ‘pen this year, and I’ll certainly be watching when he gets in a game against Boston.
The one positive for the Twins is how the front office handled the situation. They did the right thing in not caving in to the Red Sox (reportedly) ridiculous requests after they backed out of the original deal. The front office also showed they are ready and willing to make moves for pitching when the right opportunity comes along.
The Dodgers lost the most in the fiasco, although they still may be able to get a deal done. They were set to land a good starting pitcher and one of the five best players in baseball, and all for the low price of one outfield prospect and money (which they print in Los Angeles). They also had a deal with the Angels fall through as a result.
While the Dodgers may have lost the most, the Angels (who may still complete a deal) probably came in second. They were all set to land Joc Pederson and starter Ross Stripling from the Dodgers, for a surprisingly low price. They sorely need starting pitching and pairing Pederson with Mike Trout would have given the squad one of the best outfield groups in the majors.
The Red Sox
The Red Sox are better off, on paper, for not having completed this deal. They were not getting an equal return for Betts, even if it did mean they could purge David Price’s large contract off the books. However, the front office in Boston lost major credibility on this one.
Rookie GM Chaim Bloom really dropped the ball on this one, and not only looks bad as a result, but will possibly have trouble dealing with other front offices in the future. After they agreed to a deal for Graterol, Bloom and Co. went back on the deal based on an incorrect valuation of the prospect. A valuation that could have been correctly made by any Average Joe who knows how to use Google. It’s certainly a bad look for the team, and it really makes it seem like they couldn’t handle the public backlash that came after the deal was reported. I have to imagine that Falvey and Levine, along with many other GM’s, will be wary to make deals with Bloom in the future after how all of this went down.
All in all, the relationships of the teams and the rumored players will have been greatly harmed, nobody got what they wanted out of the deal, and Boston’s front office looks bad as a result. Even if the Betts deal does eventually happen, Boston’s credibility will be harmed for the foreseeable future. The Twins will move on with a flamethrower in the bullpen and a good (rather than great) starting rotation, and they’ll be just fine. It’s what could have been that really hurts.