baseball

Dodgers, Twins agree on Maeda, Graterol deal

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By DAVE CAMPBELL

The Minnesota Twins agreed Sunday to send bullpen prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers for starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal, five days after the initial trade with the Boston Red Sox was held up.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced. The Twins also agreed to send one of their draft picks in the competitive balance round this summer — 67th overall — and a minor leaguer to the Dodgers for $10 million and a minor leaguer to even out the trade.

Graterol was first headed for the cost-cutting Red Sox as part of a three-team swap to send outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price to the Dodgers. But the Red Sox, as first reported by The Athletic, raised questions about Graterol's arm health.

Now the Red Sox and Dodgers will conduct their own trade involving Betts and Price. The Twins and Dodgers technically now have a separate deal, the person said.

The 31-year-old Maeda, who spent his first four major league seasons with the Dodgers after coming over from Japan, likely will slide into the middle of Minnesota's rotation. The right-hander has a 3.87 ERA in 589 career innings, including some late-season and postseason stints in relief for a Los Angeles team that has long been flush with starters.

The 21-year-old Graterol, who can touch triple digits on the radar gun with his fastball, missed time last season for Double-A Pensacola with a shoulder injury. The right-hander recovered in time to make his major league debut with the Twins and pitch in the postseason.

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Dodgers decided they can keep Ryu (the best pitcher from Asia right now) and make Maeda expendable

The Red Sox is going to get severely punished anyway for sign-stealing cheating, but it's obvious they're punting this season, as they figure they'll finish behind the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in their strong division

The Mookie and Price trade is all about shedding payroll - they want their payroll to get under the luxury tax

But it's more the realization among their fans that the Red Sox are sellers this time (e.g. the likes of mid-table teams that sell to rich teams to make budget) - that they're not at the tier like the Dodgers or Yankees that reload every year. After so many years of being used to adding top players

On the one hand, it has to be done - they went all-in on payroll in 2017 that eventually netted them a 2018 World Series (although again, sign-stealing cheating) (What is it with Boston and cheating? The Patriots too were caught cheating, not just once but twice!)

But on the other hand, the way it was done - the Dodgers didn't even have to give up top prospects for Mookie Betts (who is MVP-caliber) and David Price (top veteran pitcher albeit on the tail-end of his career). They essentially just sold them for money purposes - in other words, like a typical mid-table team selling to Barcelona or Bayern Munich

Then again, the last time the Red Sox punted a season (2012), they won the World Series the next year. But the difference that last time, they had good players out that season and came back healthy the season after. There's no cavalry coming this time it seems

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