Hold the phone, Twins fans. A medical review has put a pause on the blockbuster trade that would send Mookie Betts to the west coast.
According to a reports from Ken Rosenthal and Jeff Passan, the medical review process has thrown a snag in the line, with the reports saying that it’s Brusdar Graterol’s physical that did not meet the standard of the Boston Red Sox.
This sort of thing is rare but can no doubt happen in the modern media landscape, when deals often get reported before technical completion. From Rosenthal: “Officials involved in the three-team Mookie Betts blockbuster remain confident the deal will be completed, but perhaps not in its original reported form.”
It’s not clear yet if that would mean more cash trading hands, a different iteration of prospect swaps, or what. But it feels like an awful lot of toothpaste to put back in the tube if the sides decided to call off the deal.
Rosenthal reported that the Red Sox see Graterol as a reliever long-term, and that they came to that conclusion after reviewing his medical records. That’s why, he reported, Boston wants more to help level the deal.
It is a fascinating swap, even before this wrinkle. And if we’re talking medical clearance, it’s interesting that the Red Sox didn’t think there was enough of an issue that he couldn’t pitch, but that he couldn’t maintain a starter’s workload? That’s what we wrote in response to the deal, and part of why the Twins would be willing to take the risk on deal a prospect for a win-now player in 2020.
And there were other players that we’d wondered about in the reported multi-team, 10-player swap. David Price has had his injury questions. Kenta Maeda had a lot of guaranteed money taken away when he began his MLB career because of an elbow concern. And Alex Verdugo, the Boston-bound outfielder from the Dodgers, missed time last season with a core injury.
So what happens now? There are a few different outcomes, including amending the trade by swapping players, changing the money agreements, or taking the Twins/Angels components out of the agreement. The unlikely, though unfortunately possible outcome, is to call off the deal. Based on Wednesday night’s revelations, it would be a little surprising if the trades happen exactly as they’ve been reported.
It seems like a really unfortunate situation for the Twins. Their player has already been reported as gone. He’s no doubt seen or heard about his inclusion in the deal. Now his “medical issue” has been widely reported, setting up an awkward spring whether he’s in Minnesota or Boston or elsewhere.