The more time that passes with the prospective mega-trade between the Dodgers, Red Sox and Twins staying unresolved, the more baseball fans are getting the feeling a deal conceivably may not happen.
Now in its fifth day of limbo, some close to the situation are wondering whether there’s even a common resolution in sight.
Pitchers and catchers are due into spring camp in less than a week. But, at the moment, more than a handful of players are still unaware as to which clubhouses they will be reporting.
According to some of the latest news, the ball is currently in the hands of the Red Sox. Upon reviewing the medical reports of hard-throwing righty Brusdar Graterol, team officials evidently saw something that made them uncomfortable, causing them to ask for additional compensation from either the Twins or Dodgers.
Reporters familiar with the scenario initially believed that a quick resolution was in sight, but at the current rate of progress, it’s hard to tell when any type of final decision will surface.
Perhaps what is most confusing is why the details of these trades were released long before the formalities were addressed, especially the impending deal that saw both Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling being traded to the Angels.
As frustrating as the medicals of Graterol seem to be, situations like these sometimes happen. Teams agree to a trade in principle, but a player fails a physical, causing an apparent snag in the deal. However, fans rarely see details of a trade publicized that is contingent on the completion of another deal, as is the case with the Pederson/Stripling trade.
To complicate matters further, agent Scott Boras has said that there are no concerns with the health of Graterol.
Many fans who are trying to decipher the situation are left wondering where the truth actually lies. Is Graterol indeed a potential health risk? Are the Red Sox getting cold feet? Did Boston change its mind regarding what it should receive in return for Mookie Betts and David Price? Is there something happening that nobody knows anything about?
Other fans are wondering how the details of the trade leaked before it was complete. Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman is normally careful on revealing his intentions to the media before anything transpires—case in point: the blockbuster a little over a year ago that saw Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer traded to the Reds. That particular trade came right out of the blue, shocking Dodgers fans everywhere.
However, the fact that details of the deal with the Angels surfaced when they did left fans debating what was actually transpiring. Why would a deal be revealed to the media if it was based only on the completion of a previous deal with another team?
Still, the fact that Alex Speier of The Boston Globe was among the first familiar with the specifics of the Red Sox’ intentions suggests there could have possibly been a leak from the Boston organization long before a firm agreement was reached.
Regardless of how the details became public, Tony Clark, executive director of the MLB Players Association, decided to get involved with the proceedings on Friday.
“The events of this last week have unfairly put several players’ lives in a state of limbo,” Clark said. “The unethical leaking of medical information as well as the perversion of the salary arbitration process serve as continued reminders that too often players are treated as commodities by those running the game.”
The longer the situation trudges along, the more Clark’s statement gains validity.
In the meantime, perhaps team officials should reconsider releasing preliminary trade information to the media before a deal is finalized.
Obviously, times have changed in terms of the media progressing through the digital age and its styles of reporting, but oftentimes there’s nothing at all wrong with keeping an organization’s business dealings close to the chest until all matters are official.
(Update: According to a story that appeared in the Star Tribune on Saturday, the Twins have completely pulled out of the deal.)