Mookie Betts is officially a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers thanks to a blockbuster deal with plenty of moving pieces. Let’s simplify everything, shall we?
Anaheim gets: OF Joc Pederson— Prospects 365 ⚾️ (@Prospects365) February 5, 2020
Boston gets: OF Alex Verdugo, SP/RP Brusdar Graterol
Los Angeles gets: OF Mookie Betts, SP David Price, INF Luis Rengifo, cash
Minnesota gets: SP Kenta Maeda
Believe this is it.
First off, if you’re a Red Sox fan...I am so, so sorry. Whoever you are and whatever you’ve done, you don’t deserve this. If you’re a Dodgers fan, you must be living right. You swap Verdugo for Mookie Betts. Swap Maeda for Price. Lose Joc Pederson, add Rengifo. You didn’t give up Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Jeter Downs, or anyone else of note. You are in hog heaven, as they say where I’m from.
From a fantasy perspective, this probably boosts Mookie Betts a tad. He’ll get some Coors games, after all. But how high can you boost someone who is being drafted fourth overall? You can’t boost him at all, is my answer.
For David Price, I’m a bit skeptical. He’s not a big target on my draft board (sue me) and the Dodgers are swimming in pitching depth. Heck, Ross Stripling is in the bullpen and he’d probably be the No. 3 starter for Atlanta—a team with World Series aspirations. There’s also Jimmy Nelson, who is just 30 years old and only two years removed from a 3.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a 27.3% strikeout rate over 175 1⁄3 innings. I’m not saying those two are overt threats to his volume. But I can see some quick hooks and/or some phantom DL stints, as the Dodgers focus in on another playoff run. That will be their primary focus, as it should be. This is not a good thing for our fake teams, people.
Alex Verdugo acquitted himself really well against both lefties and righties in his brief stint last year. He would appear to have the inside track to hit leadoff for Boston, especially given the ineptitude displayed by Andrew Benintendi last year. His current ADP of 230 looks friendly enough, as he’s currently in Brian Anderson territory. I don’t really see a difference between Verdugo and a guy like Shin-Soo Choo, though. Except that Choo might steal more bases. And Choo is already being drafted 20 picks later. If Verdugo’s price rises at all, I’m probably out. Not enough category juice, in my opinion. And Boston isn’t a great place for a lefty to hit. I’ll cite my own mistakes from last year, when I was drafting Benintendi aggressively in Round 3. Never again.
When Eno Sarris tells you something, you listen:
I don’t think the Red Sox had to do cut salary but obviously there was a mandate. Given that, maybe they did ok, but it’s the salary that made the return less than satisfying for so many. Verdugo is nice but has that past, and injury. Twins seem to have decided Graterol was RP.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) February 5, 2020
It’s not up to me to decide what Graterol is or will be. But I dig this move for the Twins in 2020, and you should dig it for your fake teams. Kenta Maeda gets a chance to build off of last year’s 153 2⁄3 innings, in which he managed a 27.1% strikeout rate and set career marks in chase rate (34.8%) and swinging strike rate (14.6%). He’s cheap at an ADP of 190 or so. I dig the value right now, and I dig that the Minnesota Twins are all in for 2020. Exciting stuff!
Last but not least, the Joc Pederson deal appears to be separate from the blockbuster:
Infielder Luis Rengifo is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal for outfielder Joc Pederson, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2020
The Angels low-key replaced Kole Calhoun with Joc Pederson. I am not upset about this. A lefty power bat moving to Anaheim is niiiiiice (remember, that right field wall got lowered). This move appears to shift Brian Goodwin back into a fourth outfielder role, in case you were wondering. Sadly, Pederon’s ADP of right around 200 doesn’t work for me. He’s currently being taken a pick behind Andrew McCutchen, for example. Which is a frigging Greek tragedy. Those two aren’t close. Pederon’s ADP would need to fall quite a bit for me to be interested, and perhaps it will given the inevitable presence of stud outfield prospect Jo Adell. But maybe there’s a chance Pederson siphons away at-bats from Albert Pujols at first base in 2020. Pederson is a guy you’ll need to manage anyway, as he’s a platoon bat for sure. For reference, he’s sitting on 114 dingers against righties in his career, compared to just nine against southpaws. That’s no typo, folks. So don’t go crazy over Joc. Sprinkle him in a little if you’re drafting deep, and know that you’ll need to focus on that LvR split.
I probably missed something...if so, let me know your thoughts if so! We’re all still making sense of this thing.