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Graterol Trade On Hold? Valuing Starters and Relievers


John Bonnes
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Depending on how the deal was set, if the physicals are failed or medicals show known issues by Twins but not known to Red Sox, the Sox could back out of deal.  However, they will have to ask question if they want to, and MLB will have to see if they can.  A lot will depend on what Red Sox learned they did not know before the offer, and if Twins knew it.  

 

Three ways it could be resolved, deal as proposed and no one budges.  Deal blows up and no one moves anywhere.  Either Dodgers or Twins throw more in for deal to Sox.  In reality, the trade is two separate deals being contingent on the other being completed.  

 

If Sox can back out, they will have to ask themselves if they want to.  Rumors of this type of deal had been going on for weeks, so clearly they want to move Betts and Price.  If they back out, is the San Diego deal any better?  Will try to call the bluff of Dodgers if Dodgers do not want to throw in more?  Will Twins want to throw in more to get Matea?  So many questions. 

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Boston had to have done their due diligence and known how Graterol was preparing for the upcoming season (especially since the Twins announced it). I don't think it has anything to do with injury, injury history, etc... as Graterol pitched at the end of last season and in the playoffs (touching 100+). I think it is cold feet on return (no immediate starter to fill Price's spot) and angry fan base (trading Betts).

 

Los Angeles and Minnesota should stand firm and let Boston catch all the flak for trying to renege on a trade (from the fans, the commissioners office and the player's union). 

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Why didn’t the Twins do this with Dyson?

The Twins received medicals on Dyson, just as the Red Sox did with Graterol.

 

But there was nothing in Dyson's medicals to suggest a problem, nor was there any real reason to be suspicious of a problem at the time. (And what constitutes a problem for a 21 year old SP prospect could be very different than what constitutes a problem for a 31 year old reliever.)

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To be fair to the Red Sox, the Twins publicly said Graterol was to begin in the pen but it was a flexible role going forward. It could be there was less flexibility than those public comments suggested.

 

And now, "not suited for a 150- to 170-inning workload" is likely a public generalization about a specific shoulder concern.

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From what others are saying, I'm gathering that this is simply the Red Sox trying to exert late stage leverage at the tail end of a deal. Twins should remain absolutely silent, wait out these jerks. Let the whole league watch them twist in the wind. It will make it harder for the Red Sox to make deals in future. Fine by me. Always be willing to walk away. 

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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.

I agree 100%. A man is only as good as his word. I admit I only know what I have read, but I didn't fall off a turnip truck riding into town this morning. 

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I agree 100%. A man is only as good as his word. I admit I only know what I have read, but I didn't fall off a turnip truck riding into town this morning. 

By the same token, though, I doubt Bloom or the Red Sox front office fell off that turnip truck this morning either. :)

 

Seriously, if the negative effects of the Red Sox playing games at this stage of the trade process are so easily apparent to everyone, why would we assume that's what the Red Sox are doing?

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I would be willing to add a prospect like Poppen to the deal.  someone who could come up and be a back end starter or reliever.  

 

or a low level prospect could be in order too.

 

or a competitive round draft pick 

 

or 250k or 500k international draft signing slot.  I wouldn't want to add too much to the deal.  Maybe we could add 2-4 million cash to the deal to Boston.

 

Those are the types of adds / compromises I would be willing to consider to balance out the trade.  

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The Dodgers are getting the best player in this deal (YMMV on whether Price/Maeda/Graterol is actually the 2nd best player) so if anyone tosses someone else in it should be them. I'm guessing they probably just eat a little more of Price's contract in the end or flip in an A-ball lottery ticket to close it. But no way should the Twins drop in anything more.

 

I think this still gets done.

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It's not on the red Sox. They aren't wrong for doing this. If they don't like his medicals, the deal needs changing or cancelling. That's how sports deals work.

I think this reinforces what some of us thought about Gaterol and his long term value.....

That's the problem with incomplete information.    If the doctors said "Hey he had a shoulder impingement so we are not sure he can throw 180 innings" or "Hey, the guy throws 103 mph and we're not sure he can do that over 180 innings" then they really have no case.    If they did an Xray and found out he's been held together by duct tape and WD-40 that's another thing entirely.    I guess the assumption is that the Twins haven't hidden anything from his last medical and that he hasn't had any changes since the last pitch.    I have always had concerns about his long term value because of how hard he throws which is why I didn't want him throwing 103 mph in the minors.   Its wasted there.  However, I also recognize he could throw for a long time with no problems.   He's just more at risk.   Its just weird the way its worded.   They are not worried that he can't throw 103 mph for the short term but concerned that he can't throw  150-170 innings.    That's the risk part of the reward and on the face of it they look unreasonable.    Of course, new info may come out that changes that face.

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Why didn’t the Twins do this with Dyson?

Dyson had been pitching hurt, but pitching effectively. And he never informed anyone. The medical reports given to the Twins, reportedly, indicated no issues to be concerned about. It is also my understanding that in deadline deals, especially last minute ones, there is generally no physical involved, only traded medical reports by the teams.

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Like others, I'm guessing Chaim Bloom has some buyers remorse and feels the sting of the critics, and that the hesitancy is unrelated to new medical information.

 

However, I'd also guess that Boston can figure out a way to look at those MRI's and find language that describes what's in those images in new and creative ways to make their case if they so choose. 

 

I certainly have no reason to expect, you know, some form of honesty somewhere in the mix. Not in this industry.

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Like others, I'm guessing Chaim Bloom has some buyers remorse and feels the sting of the critics, and that the hesitancy is unrelated to new medical information.

 

However, I'd also guess that Boston can figure out a way to look at those MRI's and find language that describes what's in those images in new and creative ways to make their case if they so choose. 

 

I certainly have no reason to expect, you know, some form of honesty somewhere in the mix. Not in this industry.

I get being suspicious of motives, etc. -- but doesn't this theory go way beyond that? You're also assuming Bloom and the Red Sox are pretty naive (to put it charitably), to publicly complete 95% of a long-discussed blockbuster trade of one of the best players in franchise history PLUS ~$50 mil cash, without realizing the trade would hurt a bit and generate negative PR.

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I get being suspicious of motives, etc. -- but doesn't this theory go way beyond that? You're also assuming Bloom and the Red Sox are pretty naive (to put it charitably), to publicly complete 95% of a long-discussed blockbuster trade of one of the best players in franchise history PLUS ~$50 mil cash, without realizing the trade would hurt a bit and generate negative PR.

I agree. The idea that Bloom is just now realizing that Boston fans would be upset with him trading the face of the franchise and a top 3-5 player in all of baseball is pretty out there. The better idea would be that they didn't look hard enough at whatever medicals they had on Graterol, or are getting different info from their in house drs. Worst case is the Twins did something shady, but I find that to be almost as far fetched as the idea that the Red Sox didn't know they'd take a PR hit by trading Betts.

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I get being suspicious of motives, etc. -- but doesn't this theory go way beyond that? You're also assuming Bloom and the Red Sox are pretty naive (to put it charitably), to publicly complete 95% of a long-discussed blockbuster trade of one of the best players in franchise history PLUS ~$50 mil cash, without realizing the trade would hurt a bit and generate negative PR.

 

 

I can only imagine their reaction is related to one of three things: 1) a failure to do a thorough review of the medicals; 2) criticism beyond what they expected; or 3) actual new medical information previously unshared.

 

The first two indicate being "pretty naive". I pick Door # 2, but it's just a guess.

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I can only imagine their reaction is related to one of three things: 1) a failure to do a thorough review of the medicals; 2) criticism beyond what they expected; or 3) actual new medical information previously unshared.

 

The first two indicate being "pretty naive". I pick Door # 2, but it's just a guess.

It's my impression that teams don't actually review any medicals before agreeing in principle on a trade. So it's not really a failure of the Red Sox, or withholding from the Twins.

 

Unless we think the Twins had to share any pessimism they may have felt about Graterol's future as a starter during negotiations. I don't think they have any responsibility to do that; but I think it's entirely possible the Red Sox developed a similar pessimism once they got access to the medicals.

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I think this deal will get done. What will probably happen is I that the Twins will throw in a low minors prospect with upside, or the Dodgers will do that or take on more of Price's contract. I don't think the Twins should really do anything. The Red Sox and the Dodgers need this deal much more than the Twins do. I live in LA and the papers are already trumpeting about how management took on more money and more risk to win that long hoped for championship. The Red Sox need payroll relief. The Twins want Maeda, but they don't NEED Maeda. I think in order of hierarchy this deal is most important to the Dodgers, then to the Red Sox, then to the Twins. I would expect a deal to be tweeked then concluded with the first two doing most of the work

 

I agree. Betts will be a Dodger when this is all said and done. This trade is really all about the Dodgers and Red Sox. 

 

However... I'm not sure why the Dodgers will pay the difference. If there is an issue with the Twins contribution to the thing. The Twins would have to be the team that makes up the difference so balance is restored. 

 

If the Dodgers make up the difference... the Twins would likely be out. The Red Sox get Maeda or the Dodgers keep Maeda and provide the prospect equivalent to the Red Sox or they replace the Twins with a different third team to satisfy the Red Sox. 

 

The Dodgers are not going to let the Twins stand in the way. This is all about Betts. The Dodgers want him, he's been announced to the fan base. The Red Sox won't want to go through the trade speculation process again. The optimism expressed that this won't sideline the deal is probably referring to the main piece Mookie Betts. The Dodgers and Red Sox probably have a contingency plan worked out and that contingency could have the potential to uninvite the Twins to the party. 

 

Purely Guesses from me... of course.  :)

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I generally agree with the above posts this trade is more about the Dodgers and Red Sox than the Twins. With the Dodgers taking Price, Maeda is the odd man out (in a way he was odd man out even before this trade). The Sox don't want Maeda because with his incentives his salary could hit $10 million per year, which would defeat the purpose of what they're trying to achieve with this trade. They either need to include the Twins or find another taker for Maeda.

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It's my impression that teams don't actually review any medicals before agreeing in principle on a trade. So it's not really a failure of the Red Sox, or withholding from the Twins.

 

Unless we think the Twins had to share any pessimism they may have felt about Graterol's future as a starter during negotiations. I don't think they have any responsibility to do that; but I think it's entirely possible the Red Sox developed a similar pessimism once they got access to the medicals.

 

That could be, but i very much doubt that teams are in the habit of negotiating and agreeing to trades like this without receiving the medicals. Skipping that kind of due diligence, even when the decision can be reversed at the mere cost of a monstrous hit to a firm's reputation, would be an act of negligence in any industry that I've ever covered.

 

I agree that the Twins were under no obligation to share their own conclusions, even those based on medicals.

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