Los Angeles Dodgers: A prospect who can help complete the Betts trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers have still not officially traded for Mookie Betts, leaving the fans, and more importantly the players, in a state of limbo.

It was reported on Tuesday that the Los Angeles Dodgers had acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team trade with the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers were sending Alex Verdugo to Boston and Kenta Maeda to Minnesota while Minnesota sent pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston as part of the three-team trade. The Dodgers also traded Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Los Angeles Angels for Luis Rengifo and some unnamed prospects to free up salary space.

In return, the Dodgers landed both Mookie Betts and David Price, but before Dodger fans could start preordering their Betts jerseys, a kink in the trade has occurred.

It is mostly centered around Graterol, who missed all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. While Graterol is an MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospect, the Red Sox reportedly did not like his physicals and view him more as a reliever than a starter, which has sparked new discussions.

Now, there is talk of the Twins either sending prospects to Boston or even the Dodgers potentially throwing more into the pot for Boston. It does not solely seem to be about Graterol’s physical, though, as the Red Sox did receive a lot of backlash from the fans for the trade and that could have given the team cold feet.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic provided an update on the trade talks on Sunday morning.

It is obviously a sticky situation right now as the Dodgers do not want to strip the farm but the Red Sox are asking for more. One alternative could be one more prospect coming from Minnesota and another coming from the Dodgers, or, the Dodgers could even look to keep Graterol and parlay that into trading a different prospect to Boston.

Regardless of what happens, the Dodgers do have one big-league ready prospect that could be thrown into the deal without a problem — Edwin Rios.

Just Edwin Rios would probably not be enough to convince the Red Sox to get this done but Rios is a valuable young asset that could be thrown into the mix that absolutely would help this get to the finish line.

Rios is big-league ready and has arguably been big-league ready for two seasons but just recently got a limited chance with the big-league club in 2019. In that limited chance, the 25-year-old infielder hit four home runs in 47 at-bats with a .277 average and a 1.010 OPS.

That is way too small of a sample size to get overly excited about but in 871 AAA at-bats, Rios hit .287 with 50 home runs, 175 RBIs and a .885 OPS. That is a 500 at-bat pace of 28 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Rios’ Achilles Heel is his tendency to strikeout. He struck out in 35 percent of his AAA at-bats and 44.6 percent of his limited MLB at-bats. However, in today’s day in age, that is less of a problem if Rios can bring pop to the plate, which he does.

With Justin Turner and Max Muncy occupying the corner infield positions and Enrique Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Matt Beaty and potentially Luis Rengifo all providing infield depth, the Dodgers could absolutely afford to trade Rios to Boston as part of the deal.

He probably won’t be on the 26-man roster anyway and even if he is he would be the 26th man. Rather than waste his potential in AAA or on the bench, the Dodgers could strike while the iron is hot on Rios and sell his power upside to the Red Sox to help finish this deal.

Rios could play first base for the Red Sox right away and presents a cost-controlled, young asset that the team can develop in the coming years.

Next: Overlooked aspects of the Mookie Betts trade

It seemed clear by obtaining Verdugo and Graterol that the Red Sox want young promising players that are also big-league ready. Rios fits that billing and the Los Angeles Dodgers should not be afraid to move on from him if that is what it takes.