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Akil Baddoo crushes Homerun in first major league at bat

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Big mistake letting this guy go
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GAME THREAD: 5/7/21, Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers, 6:...

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What Kind of Return Would You Need to Trade Byron Buxton?

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Let’s drink a cold dose of reality as an 11-17 ball club. Unless Falvey and Levine zag compared to past history, it doesn’t look like our...
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Recent Blogs

Graterol Trade On Hold? Valuing Starters and Relievers

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that the Red Sox’ examination of Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol may have raised concerns before the deal is finalized. The Red Sox “evidently agree that he is not suited for a 150- to 170-inning workload” and, the trade could require an adjustment before the deal can be completed. The new twist highlights how teams (and fans) value relievers versus starting pitchers.
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
In the now-delayed deal, the Twins acquired starting pitcher Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers in exchange for sending Graterol to the Red Sox. The surprising trade was announced Tuesday night, and Twins fans’ evaluation of the deal tended to vary depending on this very question: just how much upside does Graterol have?

The other side of the trade is easier to evaluate. Maeda’s talent is considerable, and his team-friendly contract makes him even more valuable. But as recently as a month ago, the assumption was that the 100-mph-throwing Graterol would begin the season in the minors as a starting pitcher, keeping him on the path of becoming a rotational ace.

That narrative was reversed when Twins coach Wes Johnson revealed that Graterol was preparing for a bullpen role a few weeks ago. Graterol served in that role in September and in the postseason for the Twins, but had been a starting pitcher to begin the season, before a shoulder impingement shelved him for three months.

If he started the season in a relief role, it was unlikely he would ever return to the starter role for two reasons. First, he was expected to have tremendous success as a late-inning reliever with a triple-digit fastball and a plus-plus slider. But he also had never made more than 19 starts as a pitcher in any year, or pitcher more than 102 innings. His arm had never shown it could withstand a starter’s workload.

“Value” is a tricky term, as it can mean a lot of things. The value to a team of a fire-throwing reliever versus a top-of-the-rotation starter can be debated. Because relievers are used more often, and especially because they are inserted into games in critical moments, they can impact more games in more meaningful ways than a starting pitcher. But starting pitchers pitch more innings, thus suppressing more runs.

Those two values are depicted differently by different statistics. Wins Over Replacement (WAR) values innings pitched, and starting pitchers lead relievers in it every year. But Win Probability Added (WPA) values how much a player increased the probability of their team winning a game. High-impact relievers often lead pitching staffs in that metric.

However, there is another meaning of value: rarity. It is usually harder to find starting pitchers than relievers. This has been especially true for the Twins, as their top-tier bullpen includes lots of reclamation projects, while they spent their offseason futilely begging “impact” starting pitchers to take their six-figure deals.

So when the Twins, who are hungry for impact pitching and flush with relief arms, decided to move potential ace Graterol to the bullpen, it probably should have told us something. It probably should have told the Red Sox something too. Apparently it is now, and it’s significant enough that it is jeopardizing their signature offseason deal, including shedding over $40M in payroll this year.

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This is quite a development. What happens if he comes back, do we give them someone else?Do we lose Maeda?

Post-Concussive Blues
Feb 06 2020 07:43 AM
Dang, I want this to go through.
    • Twins33, tarheeltwinsfan and JDubs like this
Maybe the Dodgers have to kick in another player.
    • Twins33, nokomismod, woolywoolhouse and 3 others like this

I think the Twins are ok; the Dodgers should be the ones on the hook (Stripling probably would have gone to Boston vice the deal the Dodgers made with the Angels.It will depend on what Boston wants to even things up; Minnesota needs to hold firm on Graterol's value. I think the Sox are pandering a bit to soften the blow of the trade, and "anything" extra they can get will be their attempt to placate their fanbase (lots of luck, lol). 


    • DocBauer, tarheeltwinsfan, gagu and 3 others like this
Feb 06 2020 07:49 AM

Can the Twins throw Sam Dyson in to sweeten the pot?

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, scottz and 28 others like this

Was wondering when learned of this trade if all the moving parts would clear physical exams.Hopefully, the Twins don't sweeten the deal with a second player who has a lot of value or replace Graterol with either Balazovic or Duran.  


Should the deal unwind and Graterol remain with the Twins, don't know right off hand if that is good or not.If healthy, there is a lot to like about Graterol.Also means that one of the opening day starting spots will definitely be manned by one of the young guns.To be honest, I like that.  


So I guess we need to stay tuned.

    • Sssuperdave, whosafraidofluigirussolo, DocBauer and 2 others like this
Feb 06 2020 07:50 AM
IMO, Dodgers need to kick more in to complete the deal and if they refuse the Twins should pull it back.
    • birdwatcher, Sssuperdave, Dman and 2 others like this
Feb 06 2020 07:53 AM
From what I remember hearing the Dodgers were in need of bullpen help last year. I wonder if the Dodgers can't just add a player to the deal headed to Boston and keep Graterol?
Feb 06 2020 07:56 AM

BoSox are a douche org. Trying to play this into more now. Most Graterol had pitched is 102 IP, now they want to question whether he is good for 150-170? Let them keep, and lose, Betts and pay the luxury tax this season on Price.


Falvine, do not give up even more for Maeda than you already are

    • nokomismod, Dantes929, woolywoolhouse and 7 others like this
This off-season is a freaking thrill ride! TR's head must be spinning.
    • nokomismod likes this
Feb 06 2020 08:19 AM
If they wanted a starter why didn't they take Maeda? I agree the Twins shouldn't have to add anything more. Am not a fan of the trade to begin with. Would rather keep Brusdar and watch him shut the door on the 2020 World Series.
    • Steve Lein likes this

So absurd! They knew they were getting a prospect that could throw hard and had some shoulder impingement last year.Did they think they were getting Kershaw? The ONLY question health wise is whether or not he can throw right now. Unless something in the off season happened health wise that we don't know about if he can throw right now then neither the Twins or the Red Sox know if he can go 5 innings or 205 innings.

    • Twins33, Dman, wabene and 1 other like this

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we technically trade Graterol to the Dodgers for Maeda and the Dodgers then flipped Graterol to the BoSox as part of the Betts deal? If that's so, seems to me that the onus falls on the Dodgers to make the deal good.

    • BD57, Twins33, woolywoolhouse and 8 others like this

It sounds like the Red Sox seem to just have a case of buyer's remorse. They had all of this information on Brusdar before the trade - they're just saying "on second thought, after reading all the blog posts for the past 24 hours, maybe we should get someone else too". 

    • Steve Lein, Dantes929, birddog and 6 others like this
Feb 06 2020 08:26 AM
Why aren’t the Dodgers offering Gonsolin?? Better than losing May, Gray, or Urias. If anything, the only reason the Twins were even included was due to the Dodger’s reluctance give up fair prospect value.

Twins should pull out and pursue a separate deal for Maeda.
    • Jeff_M likes this

So does this also put the Betts and Price to the Dodgers part of the deal on hold?

    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this

The following paragraph is from Passan's article on ESPN talking about the hold up. I think the part I've bolded is really what this is about.


Alternative options to complete a deal exist, according to sources. The players involved could be amended, as could the amount of money Boston is sending to Los Angeles to cover a portion of the $96 million still owed Price. The Dodgers and Red Sox could theoretically opt for a two-team deal or involve a different third team; Graterol is currently with the Twins.


I think Boston is trying to save themselves some money.

    • tarheeltwinsfan and Lasorda_This_Out like this
Feb 06 2020 08:47 AM
This is great fun. How did Boston become so dysfunctional so soon after a Series? This is win-win for the Twins unless they blink. Graterol’s healthy and exciting but has questionable durability. Surely the Sox knew that. This is poker, pure and simple, unless Falvine was hiding something.
    • lukeduke1980, Wizard11, Lasorda_This_Out and 1 other like this

I think the fact that the BoSox are getting crushed by almost everyone for making this deal and tanking the season is what's driving this a little; finding a way to get a little more back or make it look better is the issue. The sudden concern about Graterol not being able to hold up as a starter isn't sudden at all; they were just pretending he might start to make it look like they were getting a potential ace back in the deal when the truth is they're getting a good bullpen arm who might be great if his command develops and he stays healthy.


I like Maeda and I think deal is worth the risk, so I want the deal to go through. but I also want the deal to go through because I don't think the ****ing Red Sox should get to hold anyone hostage when they're doing a massive salary dump/tank job so that super-rich ownership can get out of the luxury tax.

    • Squirrel, Twins33, woolywoolhouse and 8 others like this

1. You can certainly argue the limits of Graterol's value. That's the reason the Twins were willing to gamble by trading him. That being said, I wouldn't give up anything else for Maeda despite my belief that he would be very valuable on this team.


2. This has been true for weeks now. Unless he has a partially torn UCL which I highly doubt, this comes off as the Red Sox being petty and trying to increase the return mid deal. If we can Google Graterol's medical history, the Sox were definitely aware of it. It was fairly clear that even the Twins already believed Graterol to be a likely reliever. 


3. Terrible beginning to Chaim Bloom's tenure. The Sox holding up a blockbuster trade mid deal due to issues that were public knowledge with a piece they likely hand picked? Yikes. Good luck negotiating any meaningful deals in the future. All of baseball is watching this and wondering how this could happen.

    • Squirrel, birdwatcher, Twins33 and 4 others like this
Feb 06 2020 09:05 AM

The Twins were very public about moving Graterol to the bullpen. The Red Sox had to know what they were getting from both the Twins actions and the medical reports. 


I think we learned that Graterol's value is probably below that of Duran, Balazovic and even Thorpe. Relievers with a medical history and a high effort delivery are risky acquisitions but teams like Boston should be able to afford to take bets on that 103 MPH upside.


If Graterol remains let's hope this doesn't change his relationship with the organization.


    • VivaBomboRivera! and Jeff_M like this
Doctor Gast
Feb 06 2020 09:09 AM


So does this also put the Betts and Price to the Dodgers part of the deal on hold?

Most definitely!

    • bighat likes this

"The value to a team of a fire-throwing reliever versus a top-of-the-rotation starter can be debated."


Uh, no.There is a reason that aces get paid a ton more and get longer contracts than a closer. They are a LOT more valuable. 

    • Twins33, howieramone2, bighat and 2 others like this
Feb 06 2020 09:43 AM

Obviously I was not involved in orchestrating this trade. But the way I read it is that the Dodgers needed to send more to Boston to complete the Betts/Price transaction and the Red Sox did not want Maetta. So the Dodgers suggested Graterol and the Sox said "Yes, Please!". So the Dodgers sent Maetta to Minnesota for Graterol and then traded him to Boston. If Boston now thinks Graterol is unhealthy, then the Dodgers should be on the hook, not the Twins. But all that aside, why would Boston not just take Maetta if they had to have a starter? I do think it's buyer's remorse and now they want to save face. Hold your position Falvine.

    • Wizard11 and Lasorda_This_Out like this

I don't think the Twins or the Dodgers should have to do anything.It's on the Red Sox.It's not as if the Twins hid Graterol and his medical history in a cave until the trade was made........too bad so sad Red Sox.

    • Squirrel, Twins33 and VivaBomboRivera! like this

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