The Blockbuster Trade Has Finally Happened

Last night, the Red Sox officially traded Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers. This blockbuster trade also included the Minnesota Twins, which is quite interesting. Even though Red Sox Nation knew it was a matter of time before Betts left, however, this blockbuster trade was still shocking.

With Spring Training a little over a week away, the Red Sox have a lot of work to do. Weblockbuster trade still don’t have a manager, we’re down a started in the rotation, and there are still players in free agency. Plus, this trade will be lingering in everyone’s mind over the next few weeks. When the Red Sox hired Chaim Bloom this past October, he had big shoes to fill, and a mess to clean up that was left behind by Dave Dombrowski.

The Breakdown of the Blockbuster Trade

The day after truck day, the Red Sox finally pulled off the trade, sending Betts and Price to the Dodgers, and receiving Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers. The Minnesota Twins were also in on this deal, trading Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox, and receiving Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers. While reports last week said that the third team was the Padres, the Twins came out of nowhere in this deal. They sent one of their top prospects to Boston, and got a reliever from Los Angeles.

Maeda wasn’t the only Dodger traded yesterday, however. The Dodgers pulled off another deal, trading outfielder Joc Pederson to the LA Angels for second baseman Luis Rengifo. This trade was a strange one. You would think that Pederson would have been traded to Boston for Betts. However, that wasn’t the case.

The Newest Members of the Red Sox

The Red Sox received Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol in the trade that sent Betts and Price to the Dodgers. For Red Sox fans, these names might not be familiar, however, they soon will be.

Verdugo played in 106 games for the Dodgers in 2019. The 23 year old outfielder hit .294 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI’s. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2014 and made is MLB debut on September 1st 2017. He split time between AAA and the Dodgers in 2017 and 2018. In total, Verdugo has played in 158 MLB games, batting .282 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI’s.

Graterol, who is coming to Boston from Minnesota, is a 21 year old pitching prospect. He made his MLB debut with the Twins on September 1st 2019 against the Detroit Tigers. Graterol signed with the Twins in August 2014 as an international free agent. The right-handed relief pitcher from Venezuela pitched in 10 games in 2019, going 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA.

David Price Tribute

After pitching in Boston for four seasons, Price is heading to the Dodgers. The 34 year old starter is 150-80 with a 3.31 ERA. He will be playing for his fifth team this upcoming season. Price made his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Rays and then was traded to the Tigers and Blue Jays. In the offseason prior to the 2016 season, he signed a seven year $217 million contract with the Red Sox. In his four seasons with Boston, Price was 46-24 with a 3.84.

Price was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2018. He won the Cy Young Award in 2012, was elected to five All Star Games, and won his first World Series in 2018. Price had his struggles throughout his career, particularly in the postseason. The way he pitched in 2018, especially in game 5 of the World Series was amazing. He pitched seven innings in game 5, earning the win. Now, he will be a member of the Dodgers following this blockbuster trade.

Thank You Mookie Betts

On June 29th 2014 against the New York Yankees, a young ballplayer made his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox. For the past six seasons, Red Sox fans have seen Mookie Betts patrolling right field at Fenway Park. Betts has been a Red Sox favorite since he came to the big leagues. He has a career .301 batting average, with 139 home runs, and 470 RBI’s. He’s a four time All Star, has four Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards. Mookie was the AL MVP back in 2018, where he not only had a great season, but led the Red Sox to their ninth World Series title. In 2019, he was selected to the All MLB Second Team.

Mookie will always be apart of Red Sox Nation. He will always be the four time All Star who patrolled Fenway’s outfield with excellence during his six years in Boston. Mookie did a lot during the 2018 season, including hitting for the cycle against Toronto at Rogers Centre. He also hit his 100th career home run before turning 26, becoming just the fourth Red Sox player to do it. The others – Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Ted Williams.

After months of rumors regarding Mookie Betts’ future in Boston, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he was traded. The past few weeks, teams like the Dodgers and Padres were mentioned to be landing spots for the All Star right fielder. Now, he is almost officially a member of the LA Dodgers. It’s going to be hard to see him wear Dodger blue.

From the crack of the bat, to the flash of the glove, Red Sox Nation will always remember Markus Lynn Betts in a Red Sox uniform. One can only hope that he will one day come back to Boston. Thank you, Mookie.

Why The Boston Red Sox Should Pursue Kenta Maeda

kenta maedaLow on starting pitching depth, the Boston Red Sox only have two starting pitchers who they should feel comfortable with in their rotation next year—Rubby De La Rosa and Joe Kelly. Many rookies have come, tried and failed, meaning the Red Sox need three more starters for their rotation (sorry Clay Buchholz).

No he is not Yu Darvish, but Kenta Maeda should be a highly appealing option to the Red Sox this offseason. A cheaper Japanese option who should be able to crack the big league rotation immediately, the Red Sox could use a pitcher like Maeda.
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Regardless of whether or not Kenta Maeda is the next superstar, it is clear he can play the game and play it well. In 24 starts for the Hiroshima Carp, he posted a 2.58 ERA while striking out 7.5 men per nine innings.

It may take $25 million just to talk to him, but Maeda is a far cheaper option than the top pitchers on the free agent market. Realistically, he may command $50-60 million for a five year deal. Keep in mind he is only 26 and locking up Americans that age for such a deal is almost unheard of, so Boston should pounce on the opportunity.

Formal scouting reports are tough to find on Japanese players, but Boston is doing their best to draw up theirs as they are “heavily scouting” him according to multiple sources. He throws a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball, shuuto, curveball, changeup and slider. He used to also throw a cutter and forkball, but abandoned the two pitches in 2011.
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Back in 2012 when he threw a no-hitter, his fastball topped out at 93 mph and averaged 89 mph. As the outing progressed, he dipped into the mid-to-high 80’s before bringing it back to the low 90’s once again.

He averaged an 89.89 mph fastball back in 2012 with a shuuto of nearly the same speed. Keep in mind his stuff was getting progressively faster and faster so he may sit around 91 mph now. He does not rely heavily upon the pitch, using it just 34.2% of the time in 2012 down from 48.5% in 2009. Maeda is not a big guy, so his lack of a dominant fastball is understandable standing at 6 ft tall weighing in at just 161 lbs.
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In the World Baseball Classic last season, he tossed two outings and ten scoreless innings all while allowing just three base runners (two hits, one walk). He also struck out 15 men so it appears as though this is the particular event which put him on the map to American scouts.