Trading Mookie Betts is painful enough for Red Sox fans, but the team found a way to drag things out for days and make it all even worse, which seems like it should have been impossible. After nixing the original agreement due to medicals from Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol, the Red Sox have agreed to a new deal to send Betts and David Price to L.A. without Minnesota involved. Graterol, for what it’s worth, is also going to the Dodgers in a separate trade. As for the Red Sox deal, they’ll be sending those two — along with half of the money owed to David Price — in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo (who was included in the original agreement), infielder Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. This is all, as we know now, pending physicals. Jeff Passan was first on the agreement.
BREAKING: The trade that will send Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been agreed upon, sources tell ESPN. Outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs are among those who will go to the Boston Red Sox.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 9, 2020
I’m on vacation so you’re just getting the minimum on these guys until tomorrow. Verdugo, as many probably know at this point, should slide into right field. He has a very good hit tool but there are questions with his power as well as his health. He is dealing with back issues that could potentially cause him to miss the start of the year. The lefty has played in 158 career MLB games across three seasons with 448 plate appearances to his name, hitting .282/.335/.449.
Downs, well, is named after Derek Jeter, so him being on the Red Sox is a little weird. He had a big year in the minors last season, spending the majority of the year in High-A before a short stint at Double-A to end the year. In what was his age-20 season, he hit .276/.362/.526 with 535 plate appearances. Defensively, Downs has played shortstop but will almost certainly slide to second with the Red Sox, which is probably got the best given some concerns about his range and the increased shifting around baseball. He was ranked number 86 on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects. Expect him to start the year in Portland.
Finally, Wong is a catching prospect. He split last year, his age-23 season, between High-A and Double-A, getting a combined 465 plate appearances and hitting .281/.336/.541. There’s a lot of swing and miss in his game at the plate, though he’s made up for that in the minors with consistently high batting averages on balls in play. He’ll really need to tap into his power to be an above-average overall bat. Defensively, he should be able to stick at catcher but he has also gotten some work at second and third base. Like Downs, he will likely start the year in Portland.