Four days after the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Twins agreed to a blockbuster trade, that deal may be taking a detour — though it remains to be seen whether that course change leads to a dead end.
A major league source confirmed to the Boston Globe that it is “very likely’’ that the Twins are backing out of the deal. The Star Tribune was first to report that Minnesota may be nearing an egress from negotiations. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Twins have set a Saturday deadline to resolve the impasse.
In the original agreement, Mookie Betts and David Price were to go to the Dodgers, Kenta Maeda to the Twins, and outfielder Alex Verdugo (from the Dodgers) and pitcher Brusdar Graterol (from the Twins) to the Red Sox. But that agreement first required review of each player’s medical files.
Multiple major league sources tell the Globe the Sox had some concerns related to the health of Graterol, with The Athletic reporting that the Sox concluded based on his medical file that his likelihood of emerging as a starter had diminished. (Scott Boras, Graterol’s agent, suggested that such a conclusion based on a review of the medical file ran counter to the conclusion of both Twins doctors and Dr. Neal ElAttrache.)
As a result, the Red Sox and Twins spent recent days discussing the possibility of alternate compensation — with the Sox seeking a prospect from Minnesota (reported by the Star Tribune to be another of the team’s top 10 prospects) in addition to Graterol.
Those discussions have moved deliberately, and ultimately stalled — with the departure of the Twins component of the deal seeming the likely outcome as of Saturday afternoon.
Assuming that Minnesota is indeed out, two major league sources expressed hope to the Globe that a deal could still be worked out, either directly between the Red Sox and Dodgers or with the involvement of a different team.
That said, while the absence of the Twins from a deal might not prove a deal-breaker, it lowers the probability of the deal between the Red Sox and Dodgers involving Betts, Price, and Verdugo by at least some degree.
But by how much? That remains to be seen.