Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Coming off a disappointing postseason exit and quiet winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers made their move just before the start of Spring Training by completing a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price.
The Dodgers already were an overwhelming favorite in the National League West, and bolstering their roster with a Cy Young Award winner and MVP further raised expectations. The landscape of the 2020 regular season would ultimately change, but the same World Series expectations remain.
With one of the deeper rosters in all of baseball, the Dodgers are in even more of a position to reap the benefits of their collection of talent by way of a universal designated hitter.
“I think it’s going to be different in one sense because Dodgers fans will get to see an extra one of their hitters in the lineup every night,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It certainly plays into being a little more offensive because you don’t have a pitcher (batting) and it keeps guys more fresh.
“I think the strategy is going to be different with a three-batter minimum for the relief pitchers. But I think it’s going to be an exciting brand of baseball. Our guys are really looking forward to this.”
Since Roberts’ remarks, the Dodgers announced the signing of Betts to a 12-year contract extension that runs through the 2023 season. It’s worth a reported $365 million and is said to include a $65 million signing bonus.
It eliminates a potential distraction and cements Betts at the top of a vaunted Dodgers’ lineup.
Quiet Opening Day?
While Roberts is excited over the prospect of some changes this season, fans not being permitted to attend games at the outset isn’t among them.
“When you drive up to the ballpark and there’s that feeling. You can see and feel the employees getting excited. As the fans start coming in, you feel that energy,” Roberts said.
“Obviously the bunting, players and coaches on the third- and first-base lines. It is certainly going to be different, but our guys have really handled different very well, they understand a responsibility to go out there and what baseball means to all of us as a country, and as professionals you’re still competing to win a baseball game.
“It’s going to be different. I hope fans can enjoy it from their homes and be safe.”
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