'Progress' on Betts; may require 2 deals (source)

February 9th, 2020

The Red Sox and Dodgers are "still working" to complete the megadeal that would send and from Boston to Los Angeles, a source told MLB.com on Sunday afternoon, while the role of a third team -- perhaps the Twins -- was beginning to come into focus.

Believed to be out of trade talks Saturday night, the Twins are still pushing to complete a deal with the Dodgers for right-hander , while Los Angeles works to wrap up what may ultimately be a second deal with Boston, a source told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal on Sunday morning. None of the clubs have confirmed the progress.

Minnesota had been part of a three-team trade agreed to by the clubs earlier this week, but Boston’s concerns over the medical records of right-hander Brusdar Graterol -- one of the two players the Red Sox were set to receive in the deal -- created some complications over the past few days.

Graterol is the Twins’ No. 3 prospect and No. 83 overall on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, though concerns about his durability over the long haul have brought his viability as a starter into question, a source said. That left the Red Sox unsettled about his future, prompting Boston to ask for the trade to be tweaked.

The Red Sox, Dodgers and Twins were trying to work out a collective solution as late as Saturday afternoon, sources said, even holding a three-team conference call at one point. The original three-way trade would have sent superstar outfielder Betts and veteran lefty Price to the Dodgers, Maeda to the Twins, and Alex Verdugo and Graterol to the Red Sox, who would have also shipped a substantial amount of cash to Los Angeles to pay down about half of the $96 million owed to Price over the next three seasons.

The original swap, per multiple reports, was as follows:
DODGERS GET: OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price, cash (all from BOS)
RED SOX GET: OF Alex Verdugo (from LAD), RHP Brusdar Graterol (from MIN)
TWINS GET: RHP Kenta Maeda (from LAD)

Both the Dodgers and Red Sox are motivated to remain under this year's Competitive Balance Tax threshold of $208 million, which a Betts deal would allow Boston to do. To reach that goal, the Dodgers would likely need to complete a previously agreed-upon deal with the Angels that would send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling down to Anaheim for infielder Luis Rengifo and another prospect or two. That trade, however, would be unlikely if the Dodgers don’t land Betts and Price.

The Red Sox appear focused on getting a deal done with the Dodgers, a source said. Los Angeles would need to add at least one player to substitute for Graterol, though it’s possible the Dodgers could try taking on a larger portion of Price’s salary in lieu of adding another highly rated prospect. It’s also possible (though less likely) that the Red Sox and Dodgers could add another team into the trade, creating a new three-team deal.

Should the Red Sox and Dodgers fail to work out a trade, Boston could begin shopping Betts around the league again. Multiple teams have already reached out to the Red Sox since the three-way trade hit its first speed bump, sources said, so while Boston remains committed to working something out with Los Angeles, there are options if a deal is unable to be completed.

The Padres would be the front-runner to land Betts if that scenario were to present itself, though a source said other teams have suggested they would also be interested in Betts and possibly Price.

Price is scheduled to report to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday for the team’s first workout, while Betts would report to town on Feb. 16, one day in advance of Boston’s first full-squad workout.

If the Dodgers are unable to complete a deal for Betts, it could affect their proposed trade with the Angels, adding yet another dimension to this bizarre week.