Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Has Free Agency ‘On The Back Burner’
Mookie Betts, 2020 Spring Training
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

As Summer Camp workouts continue at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers recently learned that David Price has opted out of playing during the 2020 season, citing health concerns from the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Price was acquired by the Dodgers this past February in the blockbuster trade that also sent Mookie Betts to L.A. He was expected to be a significant contributor in the starting rotation this year, but will instead forfeit just shy of $12 million by choosing not to play.

However, Price remains under team control through the 2022 season and will earn $64 million over the next two years. The same can’t be said for Betts, who is scheduled to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020 campaign.

Reaching the open market may be on Betts’ mind in some regard, but he revealed that his current focus is on the 2020 regular season. “Free agency is like on the back burner,” Betts explained. “That will come. That’s nothing that I’m really thinking about right now. I think the main concern is the safety and health.

“There’s a lot going on, we haven’t gotten tests back, we don’t know who’s sick and who’s not sick, there’s just a lot going on that needs to be addressed and free agency is not one of those things right now. That will come whenever it comes.”

Unlike Price, there is somewhat of an urgency for Betts to play this season. If he were to opt out, he would not accumulate any service time, and thus, delay his free agency by a year.

“I mean, yeah, that’s definitely something to think about,” Betts acknowledged. “I’m not in the same predicament so someone who can opt out. I’m kind of in a different spot, so my decision is obviously going to be different. That’s kind of the situation I’m in and whatnot.”

While Betts remains committed to play this season, he expressed some doubts on the feasibility of a 60-game schedule being completed due to issues with coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

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