Just before the start of Spring Training, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.
It’s no secret the Dodgers already had a talented team, but the hope is that Betts and Price will take them over the top and help win the organization’s first World Series since 1988.
Both players are veterans that have been around the game for a while so haven’t had any issues integrating themselves into the clubhouse. “I talked to a lot of people, and from every person that I trust, Mookie is a guy I don’t need to worry about managing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said.
“Sometimes the best coaching is when you don’t coach at all. Just kind of making him feel comfortable, making him realize he has a voice and if he feels compelled to voice it, he’s a leader by example. There’s already built in respect.”
It’s easy to see why everyone within the organization is so excited about the acquisitions of Betts and Price. L.A. Lakers legend and Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson took to Twitter to reveal he hosted a dinner in Arizona to get to know them more and welcome them to the team:
Had a great dinner in Arizona with our newest @Dodgers, @mookiebetts and @DAVIDprice24 and their families to welcome them to the team! We are so happy to have them and are looking forward to the season!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 25, 2020
Johnson is obviously one of L.A. and basketball’s biggest legends, so that had to have been a cool experience for Betts and Price. He has become more involved in the Dodgers organization over the last year or so, which he said was part of the reason he decided to step down as Lakers president of basketball operations last April.
Price is under contract for three more years, but Betts is set to hit free agency after the 2020 season, so the next year will serve as a bit of a recruiting pitch for the Dodgers to sell him on staying in L.A. long-term.
Johnson is known to be an expert recruiter, most recently luring one of the NBA’s best players in LeBron James to the Lakers. There were also some rumors that he met with Bryce Harper when the Dodgers had hopes of signing him last winter, although Harper later confirmed that was not the case.
Regardless, Johnson developing a relationship with Betts can only be a positive thing for the organization moving forward.
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