Mookie Betts was back at Fenway Park on Friday night for the first time since being traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020.
The trade came ahead of Betts potentially reaching free agency as he was entering a final season of team control. The Red Sox reportedly attempted to negotiate a contract extension but the sides remained apart for multiple months.
So Betts fell into the Dodgers’ lap and they wound up signing him to a record-setting 12-year contract extension on the eve of Opening Day of the pandemic-delayed and shortened season.
While Betts rose to prominence with the Red Sox and has fond memories in Boston, he has thoroughly embraced being part of the Dodgers organization, per Rob Bradford of WEEI:
“I can look back and say that that was a very, very dope chapter in my life. But the chapter I’m in right now, I’m enjoying it so much. I love it so much and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Betts has openly stated he anticipated spending his entire career with the Red Sox and he needed to go through an adjustment period upon first joining the Dodgers.
Even as that was unfolding, Betts put together a stellar first season with the Dodgers that included a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and culminated with helping the team win the 2020 World Series.
Betts went into this weekend’s series in the thick of the National League MVP race behind a blistering month of August. He had some nerves over returning to Fenway Park but received a warm reception from Red Sox fans before his first at-bat.
How Mookie Betts stacks up in NL MVP race
Atlanta Braves All-Star Ronald Acuña Jr. was quickly anointed the 2023 NL MVP favorite, but Freddie Freeman began to play his way into the conversation and now Betts is fully entrenched in the debate.
Betts trails Acuña in batting average on-base percentage, but leads in home runs, RBI, wRC+, wOBA and fWAR.
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