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Twins Trade Graterol to Dodgers for Kenta Maeda in Blockbuster Deal


Seth Stohs
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Mookie Betts and David Price have finally been traded. They're headed to the Dodgers, but the Twins are involved in the deal. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Twins have acquired Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers in exchange for Brusdar Graterol. Graterol is expected to then be dealt to the Red Sox in this multi-team deal.

 

The deals are all pending physicals.The Twins traded one of their top pitching prospects to acquire the veteran pitcher. Hard-throwing Brusdar Graterol is headed to the Dodgers, and then he will be dealt to the Red Sox in the Mookie Betts/David Price trade.

 

 

Maeda is a 31-year-old right-hander from Japan. In his four seasons with the Dodgers, he has gone 47-35 with a 3.87 ERA in 137 games (103 starts). In 2019, he went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA. In 153 2/3 innings, he walked 51 and struck out 169 batters.

 

 

The Dodgers paid a $20 million posting fee to Hiroshima in 2015. Maeda signed an 8 year, $25 million deal with the Dodgers, receiving $3 million annually. He makes an extra $150,000 each year for making the Opening Day roster. He can earn up to $6.5 million each year based on number of starts. He can also make another $3.5 million each year based on innings pitched. He also receives $1 million for having been traded.

Graterol saw time with the Twins in September 2019 and pitched well. He pitched a scoreless inning in his one playoff appearance. He became very popular prospect when reports surfaced that he was hitting triple-digits upon his return from Tommy John surgery. Last year, after returning from missing three months due to shoulder issues, he hit 104 mph in a game in Pensacola.

 

At a Winter Caravan stop, pitching coach Wes Johnson said that Graterol was preparing for a role in the bullpen. He could get some time to develop and work more innings, eventually becoming a starter. But many believe his future is in the bullpen.

 

The Twins Opening Day starting rotation now looks like this: Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey and Jhoulys Chacin, with Michael Pineda coming back after 39 games and Rich Hill potentially being back in June or July. Of course, Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer provide much depth. And, the Twins still have top pitching prospects Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran and more.

 

What are your thoughts? Tom shared his thoughts shortly after the deal was rumored.

 

 

More could develop as we learn more about this three, or four, team trade.

 

Here is what we know, so far, about the overall four-team trade:

 

 

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My knee jerk reaction is to have mixed feelings. Graterol is tough to give up, but Maeda is a good pitcher with four years of control for almost no money. He has been pitching out of LA’s bullpen and wants to start. He has been a bit above league average in his career, but peripherals are pretty encouraging. Not sure the K% and K rate will hold up switching to a starting role in the AL. Here’s hoping for the best.

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"What about starting pitching?!", we asked. Well, this is how you bring it to Target Field.

 

Wow.

 

Twins are in win-now mode, no question. They had an opportunity to acquire an MLB starter by dealing a top prospect, and they did it.

 

Maeda was 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA last year. He should slot in behind Berrios and Odorizzi perfectly. Good fit. Did the Twins give up too much? Time will tell.

 

 

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Agree with Raindog. Trading a our top pitching prospect for a number 4 starter. Doesn’t quite make sense.

I disagree with this assessment. I think there’s a pretty convincing argument that Graterol is (er, was) their second or third best pitching prospect. Personally, I like Duran a lot better. There’s also quite a bit to like about Maeda. He’s probably the best strike out pitcher on the team now other than Rogers. His counting stats are suppressed over the last year or two from pitching mostly out of the bullpen. Conversely, his rate stats might be a bit inflated. He’s a good pitcher—in my opinion clearly better than a fourth starter. Way too early to say who “wins,” but the thinking seems to make sense. It’s definitely a win now move.

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At first glance, don't like it.  Doesn't seem like the top arm the Twins should be getting if Graterol is included in a package.  Hopefully, management knows that Graterol won't be that ACE starter they so badly need.  If that proves to be true, guess this is ok.  Just would have liked someone coming back who is both better and younger.

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Wasn’t the philosophy supposed to be:

 

We draft high end hitting prospects and trade surplus for impact pitching?

 

Instead we trade one of our best impact pitching chips for a slightly above league average starter who is now flipping to AL?

 

Probably good for us this year. Don’t think it gets us over the 0-16 hump though.

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"What about starting pitching?!", we asked. Well, this is how you bring it to Target Field.

 

Wow.

 

Twins are in win-now mode, no question. They had an opportunity to acquire an MLB starter by dealing a top prospect, and they did it.

 

Maeda was 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA last year. He should slot in behind Berrios and Odorizzi perfectly. Good fit. Did the Twins give up too much? Time will tell.

Exactly. I never thought I would witness an offseason where they sign a free agent for $20+ million AAV, AND trade a top prospect for established pitching. This is what I’ve wanted for years and I’m going to ****ing EMBRACE it!

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This has been crazy to see unfold... MLB baseball making a huge splash 2 days after the Super Bowl!

Falvine made a judgment call and sold high on Graterol. Maybe they think he’s just a reliever. I’m excited that the rotation is getting stronger! It’s go time in 2020!!

 

This is what my initial reaction was. They just don’t believe he’ll ever be a great starter

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Who knows on Graterol?

 

What are the odds he pans out as a starter? Low.

 

As a reliever? Better.

 

Maeda is a solid starter, which Twins need going forward even beyond this year.

 

This is a move you make when you know your team is solid.

 

Will Twins miss Graterol in 2020? No.

 

Will Maeda win them a pennant?

 

That's why you play the games.

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