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Tony Clark says held-up Mookie Betts trade putting ‘players’ lives in state of limbo’

The Major League Baseball Players Association had a strong message Friday for the three teams involved in the held-up Mookie Betts blockbuster: Resolve it quickly.

Those were the words of executive director Tony Clark, who in a statement told the teams to conclude talks or move on.

“The proposed trades between the Dodgers, Red Sox, Twins, and Angels need to be resolved without further delay,” Clark said. “The events of this last week have unfairly put several Players’ lives in a state of limbo. 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.”

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The blockbuster three-way trade, sources previously told ESPN, would send Red Sox right fielder Betts and starter David Price to the Dodgers; Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo and Twins pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox; and Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda to the Twins.

The blockbuster was agreed upon Tuesday night, pending medical reviews. But the Red Sox, as first reported by The Athletic and confirmed by ESPN, were spooked by a medical review of Graterol, the hard-throwing 21-year-old right-hander who has undergone Tommy John surgery and missed time in 2019 with a shoulder injury.

While sources have told ESPN that the likelihood of the trade blowing up is slim, as medical-related impasses are typically worked around, the teams have been talking about alternative options to complete the deal.

The three-way trade is tied to another proposed deal in which the Dodgers would send outfielder Joc Pederson, starter Ross Stripling and prospect Andy Pages to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo and a prospect, according to sources. By offloading Pederson, the Dodgers would remain underneath the $208 million luxury-tax threshold even after taking on the hefty salaries of Betts and Price.

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