“Adjusting” the Mookie Betts salary dump

Here were are at the end of the week, Friday after 5:00 PM EST, and the proposed deal of RF Mookie Betts & LHP David Price to the Dodgers, which was announced Tuesday evening and had everybody buzzing Wednesday morning, has gone into deep freeze mode.

There have been no meaningful updates on this situation by MLB or ESPN on Thursday & Friday. No other stories are being followed by baseball fans, because this was supposed to be the biggest blockbuster of the winter. The eyes of the baseball world have been on this Red Sox salary dump for over three months, and still all we have are possible scenarios & rumors.

Teams are hiding from the media, and no one from these organizations is going on-the-record at this point. The teams involved are the Red Sox, Dodgers, Twins & Angels. Everything you’ve read in the media is from the Red Sox or Dodgers perspective. Let me try to explain the Twins perspective, which is the key here. The Minnesota Twins are a good team who won 101 games last year, but got swept again by the Yankees in the ALDS. They have a smart GM in Thad Levine, and a limited budget.

Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman gave Thad Levine a call a week-or-two ago, and said, “How would you like to trade young righty reliever Brusdar Graterol for starter Kenta Maeda? It’ll be part of the package we send back to the Red Sox for Mookie Betts & David Price.” If you’re Twins GM Thad Levine, you say, “Sure. Sounds great!” Right?

Except it’s the Boston Red Sox, who go into re-negotiation mode every time they look at a young pitcher’s medical records. The Red Sox management line becomes, “We have changed our projections after having had a look at the opposing side’s proprietary medical & player data. We demand another player to make us whole again.” This is how it is presented to the world by Ken Rosenthal and the rest of the baseball media.

What the HELL is Twins general manager Thad Levine supposed to do? He really wants Kenta Maeda in the Twins rotation, with his affordable contract for four seasons. But the problem is the Boston Red Sox have unilaterally decided to de-value Brusdar Graderol– one of their top prospects. Of course the Red Sox still insist they want Graderol (who wouldn’t?), it’s just that he isn’t projecting to be as good as they thought, so therefore the Twins need to cough up another prospect. Say what?!

What do you do if you’re Thad Levine? This is really disrespectful, and respect has currency among GM’s. He was led to believe this was going to be an easy deal on his end, and now his organization being extorted by the east coast sports mafia. If the Red Sox really needed more in this deal (and they don’t), then it’s the Dodgers who should kick in. The trade for Maeda sends Graderol to the Dodgers, who is then sent to Boston for David Price. The Twins have nothing to do with that. But I haven’t read that analysis anywhere in the corporate, pro-Sox sports media. That means the Dodgers are part of this fix to screw the Twins.

Reader comments, on the other hand, overwhelmingly favor the sentiment and reasoning I’ve expressed here. Getting involved with the Red Sox in any major deal comes with bitter poisons, so beware. Teams that break even on deals, get slandered & marginalized by a blatantly biased east coast media, which is all-powerful.

No one else is allowed to win a deal with the Red Sox. Management can get sanctioned by MLB itself, for making too many good deals, because teams like the Yankees & Red Sox control MLB. They staff it’s executive offices with their people. It’s tough for an outsider to get a meaningful job in the MLB commissioners office. Like I said, it’s a mafia.

So right now there is an omerta-like silence among the teams involved, with full cooperation from their media arms. That’s what fear & power does. So much for the fans who follow the game. They would surely like to know what’s going on, but they’re kept in the dark on these conversations, while being blitzed with pro-Red Sox propaganda meant to gain them leverage. Nothing is being reported, which means things are REALLY heated between these clubs.

This is not just about who gets a valuable player in Mookie Betts, it’s now about challenging one team’s ability to renegotiate trades, after they’ve been agreed upon & announced to the media. If the Red Sox had serious questions on Brusdar Graderol’s medical history, they should have asked to see the data before the deal was announced to the media. That’s the issue for the Twins.

Of course, the Red Sox are playing all this as they’ve planned. They didn’t want to make this Mookie Betts trade, so they’ve made as many other people suffer for it as possible. That’s the Red Sox way. Will this deal fall apart? Yesterday when it was first announced there was a hold-up, it was stated that the chances were “slim” that the deal wouldn’t go through. Today it’s “more likely, than not” that it will go through. It’s now officially the weekend on the east coast, and still no word from any of the organizations or MLB…

MLBPA chief Tony Clark just made this announcement at 5:15 PM EST, reported on ESPN. “The proposed trades between the Dodgers, Red Sox, Twins, and Angels need to be resolved without further delay. The events of this last week have unfairly put several Players’ lives in a state of limbo. The unethical leaking of medical information as well as the perversion of the salary arbitration process serve as continued reminders that too often Players are treated as commodities by those running the game.”

Here’s a news flash: pitchers & catchers report next week. Remember that Brusdar Graderol is a pitcher, and it’s really important that he knows which plane to get on when it’s time to report to camp. Stay tuned here for a final update on this drawn out & sordid affair, when a resolution is reached.