The Los Angeles Dodgers got quite a nice bonus with Brusdar Graterol
Getting Mookie Betts in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform proved to be a tough task this past offseason. A blockbuster deal was in place between the Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins. But then the Red Sox backed out over Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol and the trade was in danger.
The Dodgers decided to make a separate trade directly with the Twins and got Graterol in exchange for Kenta Maeda. The Red Sox took top prospect Jeter Downs and Alex Verdugo, and now the comparisons are on.
Brusdar Graterol takes on a big role in October
The Red Sox struggled all season and could have used a dominant arm in the bullpen. The pitching staff allowed 351 runs this season en route to a last-place finish in the American League East.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, had the best record in baseball and Graterol emerged as a legitimate late-inning option. He appeared in 23 games and posted a 3.09 ERA in 23.1 innings. Now there is talk of him taking over the closer role after he got the save in a series-clinching Game 2 over the Milwaukee Brewers last week.
Boston made a new deal with the Dodgers to get more talent in the lineup. Downs is the top prospect in the Red Sox system and the team also added catcher Connor Wong, in addition to already landing Verdugo. Thus the team added three potential starters in exchange for Betts.
The direct comparison is between Downs and Graterol. If the former is a bust and Graterol develops into a dominant reliever, Red Sox fans will be left wondering if the front office made a huge mistake.
It is still far too early to determine the success of the multiple deals surrounding Betts. The Red Sox could have used someone like Graterol to win now, but the deal was about acquiring talent for the future.
This all serves as a huge win for the Dodgers. The team can afford to trade top prospects as they have the cash to sign the best players in baseball. Players who may have been blocked in the minors can go elsewhere in exchange for landing someone proven like Betts.
The Dodgers getting Graterol is just another example of why the team has had sustained success. But even if he is a star, the Red Sox may make out just fine from the deal. The biggest loss was Betts, and his absence will be bigger than anything one reliever could have solved.