The Los Angeles Dodgers explored all avenues of adding elite talent to their roster this winter before striking a deal with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price.
Betts’ arrival gives the Dodgers an unprecedented three former MVP winners and another dynamic presence in the outfield. He is particularly excited to play alongside Cody Bellinger, who together, should form one of baseball’s most productive duos.
Betts is coming off another solid season with the Red Sox in which he hit .295/.391/.524 with 40 doubles, 29 home runs, 80 RBI and 97 walks. Penciled in as the club’s primary leadoff hitter, he led the Majors with 135 runs and earned a third career Silver Slugger Award (second consecutive).
Even though he is changing organizations and leagues this season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that Betts has agreed to once again bat leadoff, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Roberts said he and Mookie Betts are in agreement that Betts will bat leadoff.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 21, 2020
Roberts also noted that Betts may be slotted in as the Dodgers’ No. 2 on some occasions, particularly against opposing right-handed starters, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
#Dodgers Dave Roberts said he talked with Mookie Betts and he will be the primary leadoff hitter. Might move to No. 2 occasionally against RH pitching (to put a lefty like Joc Pederson leadoff). "That's where he feels comfortable and that's where we're at right now."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 21, 2020
In addition to remaining at the top of the lineup this season, Betts will also continue lining up in right field. “But yeah, to see Mookie in right field where he’s obviously won Gold Gloves and Platinum Gloves, and to see him at the top of the order, I think that makes a lot of sense,” Roberts told reporters last week.
Betts gives the Dodgers their first steady leadoff hitter since trading Dee Gordon, and his unique combination of power, speed and discipline should set the table for the rest of the lineup.
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