Despite a hangup that threatened to derail the deal, the Minnesota Twins send Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Kenta Maeda.
The Boston Red Sox didn’t like what they saw in Brusdar Graterol‘s medical reports and were no longer interested in acquiring him as part of the return to Mookie Betts. The Los Angeles Dodgers and their doctors didn’t seem to have any issue so they reworked the Kenta Maeda deal to exclude the Red Sox.
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The Twins will be able to slot Maeda in as a number three to the rotation. As I wrote before, I wasn’t a big fan of the trade from the Twins perspective and that remains the case.
Maeda is an above-average pitcher who probably won’t throw a full season worth of innings. He’s got good stuff and gets results but he doesn’t have the potential ceiling of Graterol. With the $10M in cash, Maeda will basically pitch for free over the next few years as he is on a team-friendly contract albeit one with incentives.
The Minnesota Twins clearly aren’t enamored by Brusdar Graterol’s long term prospects. Teams are often too bullish and loathe to part with prospects especially their own.
Part of acquiring prospects is the risk that they flame out and since Graterol is 21 and already at the MLB level, that risk is basically gone. That being said, Graterol is MLB ready right now and features the elite stuff to at least be a lockdown fireman.
Sure the Twins are competitive now but why couldn’t the Twins give him a rotation slot to see what he is?
The Twins could piggyback a swingman for his start in the event he can only go 3-4 innings. We can all wonder what his medicals look like but the Dodgers thought they were good enough.
The Dodgers bullpen approach has been a committee approach down from closer Kenley Jansen. Any starter who didn’t fit or the live arm they found on the waiver wire have thrown critical innings for LA. Now, the Dodgers are getting a high-octane arm with 100 MPH sinker and a wipeout slider. The Dodgers are one of the more progressive teams when it comes to pitching role fluidity so Graterol, as long as he is healthy, should get ample opportunity to seize some sort of role.
One quick word on OF Luke Raley, Fangraphs has him as a 40 FV who has 60 Raw Power and a 60 arm. Raley is 25 with a lefty stick and made it to triple-A where he slashed .302/.362/.516 (122 wRC+) at AAA in 2019. Raley has CF experience and also played 1B in 2018. He seems like a solid bench bat that is ready for MLB action now. His game power lags behind his raw power but if he can make tweaks to get to it, he could be a trade trip for the Dodgers at the deadline.
The Twins are getting certainty while the Dodgers are getting a lottery ticket. Your view of this deal is directly linked to your risk tolerance. The Twins could have made better use out of Graterol than Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers did well to find out he was even available in trade and then opportunistically snag him when the Mookie Betts deal soured.
Bookmark this page now and come back in October because the pitch below from Graterol is going to wreak havoc on the postseason. In fact, Graterol’s super turbo sinker will be the pitch that gets the last out and wins the Los Angeles Dodgers their elusive World Series.