FORT MYERS, FLA. – The Brusdar Graterol hostage crisis continued Friday, with the young pitcher in town for the third consecutive morning without knowing whether he would be joining the Red Sox or staying with the Twins.
A three-team trade that involved the Red Sox, Twins and Dodgers — who are set to land stars Mookie Betts and David Price from Boston — has not been consummated after it was theoretically finalized Tuesday night.
The megadeal, which would result in the Twins getting righthander Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers, is on hold because of Boston’s concern over Graterol’s medical records. The 21-year-old Venezuelan missed time last year because of a shoulder impingement and had elbow surgery as a teenager.
The Red Sox might be interested in the Twins adding another prospect, and the Twins are likely balking at that idea.
The Boston Globe reported the Red Sox were aware of Graterol’s shoulder and arm issues but that after the trade was agreed upon, they would have had access to the Twins’ complete files. Those files include magnetic resonance imaging exams and other images, trainer notes and virtually every detail about a player’s medical history since his entry into professional baseball.
Those files, the Globe reported, are typically reviewed by a trainer, who coordinates the sharing of information with other members of a team’s medical staff. Sometimes that means consulting with a team’s head of internal medicine, but more often a team orthopedist will examine specific concerns.
Graterol’s agent, Scott Boras, told MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, “They’re relying on a cursory medical record review yet noted orthopedic doctors who saw [Graterol] say there’s no issue going forward.”
Betts, the 2018 AL MVP who is due $27 million and will be a free agent after the season, and Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, were headed to Los Angeles in the trade, with the Red Sox reportedly agreeing to pay half of the remaining $96 million due Price over the next three years. The Dodgers would send Maeda to Minnesota and outfielder Alex Verdugo to Boston.
Once all teams approve the trade, or any modifications to it, it would be subject to review by Major League Baseball because more than $1 million is involved in the transaction.
Also held up is the Dodgers’ trade of outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels. Pederson, who lost an arbitration ruling Friday and will get $7.75 million this season, hit 36 homers for the Dodgers in 2019 but is being moved to make room for Betts.
Tony Clark, executive director of the MLB Players Association, released this statement: “The proposed trades between the Dodgers, Red Sox, Twins and Angels need to be resolved without further delay. The events of the past week have unfairly put players’ lives in a state of limbo. The unethical leaking of medical information as well as a perversion of the salary arbitration process serve as continued reminders that often players are treated as commodities by those running the game.”