Prior to Spring Training getting underway, the Los Angeles Dodgers made one of the offseason’s biggest splashes by acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
To land the pair of All-Stars, the Dodgers parted with Alex Verdugo, top prospect Jeter Downs and Minor League catcher Connor Wong. L.A. also absorbed approximately half of Price’s remaining salary over the next three seasons.
It was a fair cost to pay for one of the league’s premier players in Betts. His presence gives the Dodgers a third former MVP winner and perhaps their most formidable lineup on paper in franchise history.
However, with the 2020 MLB season still in some flux due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a nonzero chance exists that Betts will never suit up in a game for the Dodgers.
He, along with several other players in the organization, are still on track to become free agents at the end of the year, regardless of how many games are played during a potential 2020 season.
Verdugo described the prospect of Betts departing the Dodgers without playing in a game for them as difficult to comprehend, via Greg Joyce of the New York Post:
“That would be pretty crazy,” Verdugo told reporters on a conference call Monday. “That would be pretty nuts. I really haven’t thought about it much, but I think it’s tough. It’s a tough situation, if that is the scenario, for the Dodgers. That’s part of life. We can’t expect these things. I think for the Dodgers, that’s tough. That’s a tough deal. But everything happens for a reason.”
In discussing Betts’ immediate outlook with the team, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he is not consumed by the prospect of the All-Star outfielder possibly not playing in a game this year.
Though two months of the regular season have been lost, there is optimism that a 2020 campaign can still be salvaged in some form. Momentum has reportedly grown toward a plan that would allow teams to play games in their home ballparks this year.
That being said, multiple obstacles remain. Specifically with player safety and testing, which were addressed in a plan MLB presented to the Players Association.
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