Twins officially acquire Maeda from Dodgers

February 11th, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- The three-team impasse between the Twins, Red Sox and Dodgers is over, and even after all the chaos, the Twins emerged with the gist of their originally reported trade intact.

The Twins announced Monday night they have acquired right-hander , catching prospect Jair Camargo and cash considerations from the Dodgers, while top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol is on his way to Los Angeles alongside Minor League outfielder Luke Raley and the 67th selection in the 2020 Draft.

The trade is now simply a two-team deal between the Twins and Dodgers, and there are no longer any players moving between the Twins and Red Sox. When news of the deal first broke last Tuesday, Minnesota was still getting Maeda from Los Angeles, but Graterol was going to be heading to Boston.

Dodgers get: RHP Brusdar Graterol, OF Luke Raley, 67th pick in 2020 Draft
Twins get: RHP Kenta Maeda, C Jair Camargo, cash

Red Sox get: OF Alex Verdugo, SS Jeter Downs, C Connor Wong
Dodgers get: OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price, cash

The three-team blockbuster trade that was originally reported Tuesday was ultimately replaced by a pair of two-team deals, with Mookie Betts and David Price still on the move from the Red Sox to the Dodgers alongside a separate deal between the Twins and Dodgers headlined by the Maeda-Graterol exchange.

This brings an end to a nearly week-long saga between the Twins, Red Sox and Dodgers. The clubs reportedly agreed to the original three-team deal on Tuesday night before several reports emerged that the Red Sox sought a change in the agreement after a review of Graterol's medical records caused them to project the 21-year-old right-hander as a reliever instead of as a starter. Subsequent reports were conflicting as to the degree of the Twins' continued engagement in the deal through the weekend.

The Twins would likely have been in good shape either way. If the deal had not gone through, they would still have had solid starting depth with Graterol in the fold to bolster a deep bullpen. Instead, they continued their aggressive win-now push by adding a high-floor rotation arm at the expense of future high-ceiling production from Graterol.

As part of that win-now push this offseason, the Twins had already signed Josh Donaldson to a four-year deal; brought in free agents Alex Avila, Tyler Clippard, Homer Bailey and Rich Hill; re-signed Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Sergio Romo; and extended Miguel Sanó.

But nothing much has really changed for the Twins other than Graterol's ultimate destination. They still got the rotation depth they needed in the form of Maeda, who not only owns a 3.87 career ERA and the flexibility to pitch as a starter and in relief, but also a 3.31 ERA in 32 2/3 career postseason innings. He should immediately fill a rotation spot for the Twins alongside José Berríos, Odorizzi and Bailey while the team awaits the returns of Pineda from suspension and Hill from injury.

Significantly, the cash considerations accompanying Maeda in the deal are valued at $10 million, per sources. That could offset most or all of Maeda's financial obligations for the 2020 season for the Twins, which could afford the club additional financial flexibility to make moves at the Trade Deadline if needed.

Maeda's incentive-laden contract guarantees him a base salary of $3 million with a $150,000 bonus for making the Opening Day roster. He can earn up to $10 million each season in performance bonuses based on games started and innings pitched. Maeda is under team control through the 2023 season.

The Twins viewed Graterol, the No. 83 prospect in MLB Pipeline's Top 100, as a talented young pitcher who could impact the Major Leagues this season, but he would have served as a depth piece in an already strong bullpen instead of as a needed impact starter in the rotation. He posted a 4.66 ERA in 9 2/3 MLB innings last season and made a strong postseason appearance, but the Twins were looking to be cautious with Graterol's workload in 2020 due to his injury history and lack of innings throughout his Minor League career.

Raley was selected by the Dodgers in the 2016 Draft and came over to the Twins in the ‘18 Brian Dozier trade. He had been added to the 40-man roster earlier this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, but his short-term and long-term fit on the club was unclear. In the immediate future, Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade Jr. both provide outfield depth, while top prospects Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach aren't too far behind.