The blockbuster trade that would send Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers has hit a snag: the Red Sox, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports, were “spooked” by the medical reports of Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol. Graterol is slated to join the Red Sox while the Dodgers are to send Kenta Maeda to Minnesota and Alex Verdugo to Boston.
Graterol, 21, has had Tommy John surgery and missed time in 2019 because of a shoulder injury. Passan says that, despite the concern, officials with all three teams involved remain confident the deal will be completed. It may, however, require some sort of work-around, be it an alteration to the amount of money changing hands in the deal or the substitution or addition of players to the deal. It could also transform back into a two-team deal involving just the Red Sox and Dodgers.
When news of this trade hit Tuesday night, it seemed to create discomfort with more Red Sox fans than it pleased. This news about the health of a key component of the deal and the delay in getting it finalized will likely only extend that discomfort, at least for the time being.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.