Hindsight on Mookie Trade

The Mookie trade was the absolute blockbuster of the offseason that also saw Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg all sign for over $245 million. And amid all the excitement that comes with Mookie, and a 3-way trade falling apart, it’s easy to forget about every other player and team involved.

And now that we’re about a third of the way through the season, winners and losers are beginning to form of the 4 teams that helped make Mookie a Dodger for the rest of his career.

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Highlights

  • Dodgers
  • Red Sox
  • Twins
  • Angels

Dodgers

  • Acquired- Mookie Betts, David Price, Brusdar Graterol, Luke Raley
  • Lost- Kenta Maeda, Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, Jeter Downs,

They’re winners obviously.

Betts Betts Betts. After all the talk of possibly never even seeing him in blue, Dodger fans get to enjoy him for the next decade. And oh boy he is exactly as advertised if not more. His day to day intensity already shows just how hard of a worker this MVP is. And even though he started off slow, Betts is the most valuable Dodger so far by WAR and statcast seems to agree.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/mookie-betts-605141?stats=statcast-r-hitting-mlb

Price opted out, but a reminder that we have him for at least a couple more years and that he paid Dodger Minor Leaguers his OWN MONEY during the initial scrambling of the pandemic. Even if he only performs as a back end starter, this is a man you can’t not be happy is on our team.

We’ve actually already done an article on Bazooka Graterol here, but this kid looks legit. There isn’t another major leaguer out there that makes 100+MPH look this easy.

The Red Sox passed on him after his physical saying they didn’t see him as a starter anymore. And to be honest, we don’t care. The year hasn’t started exactly the way he was hoping going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA, but his expected ERA of 2.23 says it’s just unlucky.

He can be just as vital as a closer as he can be as a starter. It looks like Jansen finally has a clear successor. Also it doesn’t hurt that he’s everyone’s new favorite teammate.

Finally Luke Raley hasn’t joined the majors but showed why the Dodgers wanted him back this spring with glimpses of some serious power in that bat. At 6’4″, 235 Lbs, Raley is a big, left handed outfielder.

He hit .310/.361/.517 in 2019 where he spent 90% of his time at Triple-A. If he can cut down the strikeouts, he could have a Max Muncy upside.

Red Sox

  • Acquired- Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, Jeter Downs
  • Lost- Mookie Betts, David Price

It’s never easy saying goodbye to players who helped win your team a World Series team, but they were about to lose Betts for almost nothing in FA. As for Price, he was too expensive for the Sox who didn’t see themselves competing the next couple years with his salary holding them down.

In comes Verdugo, Downs, and Wong from the Dodgers.

Verdugo, was a Dodger favorite sadly, and Red Sox fans are beginning to see why. He started off slow for him, by only hitting singles to a tune of .273/.333/.273 in July. But now in August, he’s OPSing .958 so far with 3 home runs.

He’s no Mookie Betts (no one is) but he still was once the Dodgers top prospect. His ceiling is still an elite bat with an elite arm in the outfield. And with Benintendi’s truly awful start, he may be the best overall outfielder on the team already.

Jeter Downs is now the Red Sox top overall prospect. And as of right now he seems like a true 5-tool player. He’s hitting for slightly above average contact, power, with what looks like above average speed and base running abilities. Last year he hit 24 homers and stole 24 bases. Before that was less homers but he stole 37 bags in 2018.

He may be up sooner rather than later pairing up with Bogaerts in the middle infield. Currently Jose Peraza and Michael Chavis are seeing the most time at 2nd.

Finally Wong also slid into the Red Sox Top 30 Prospects at number 18. But more importantly, he is their highest rated catching prospect, who can also play 2nd or 3rd.

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Twins

  • Acquired- Kenta Maeda, Jair Camargo
  • Lost- Brusdar Graterol

The big fish here was Kenta Maeda. Especially for the Twins who basically built a whole new rotation behind Berrios and Odirizzi. And Maeda is the definition of a 3rd starter workhorse.

He actually asked to be traded knowing the Dodgers didn’t have enough innings for him to make his contract worthwhile. Initially the Dodgers were just going to trade Maeda for Graterol, and then Graterol to the Sox, but the sox backed out.

Overall though this wound up a win-win for everyone. Maeda is 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA and 0.65 WHIP for the Twins so far.

Angels

  • Would have sent- Luis Rengifo
  • Would have acquired- Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling

And somehow like always, the Angels are the biggest LOSER in this trade by backing out due to frustration.

They backed out of this deal with the Dodgers when the Red Sox changed their minds on Graterol. The Angels GM didn’t like being in a contingency trade.

So they kept Luis Rengifo. He’s currently OPSing .411 and is worth negative 0.3 WAR.

Joc is having a rough start and still OPSing .694 and is just below average in OPS+ at 96. But he does still have 3 homers with 7 RBI.

As for Ross, the Angels desperately need pitching. And currently he is 3-0 with a 4.00 ERA. An ERA+ of 105 also indicates he’s just above average. He’s also consistent which the Angels could’ve really used. The reason he’s 3-0 is because he kept his team in every start he’s played.

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