Once it became evident the Boston Red Sox were committed to a Mookie Betts trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres emerged as the two most likely suitors. Of course, the Dodgers had been linked to Betts for several weeks this offseason.
Soon after speculation L.A. began to separate from the Padres in trade talks, a deal was completed for the All-Star outfielder. The Dodgers reportedly are not only poised to acquire Betts but David Price as well.
While Price remains under contract for three more years, Betts is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season. He reportedly rejected multiple contract extension offers from the Red Sox last year.
According to David Vassegh, the Dodgers intend on being aggressive in re-signing Betts once he reaches free agency, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“Mookie Betts is a free agent at the end of the year. The Dodgers have every intention of trying to work something out with him longterm.”
In Betts the Dodgers have added a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glover, three-time Silver Slugger and 2018 American League MVP. He is coming off another stellar season in which he batted .295/.391/.524 with 40 doubles, 29 home runs, 135 runs scored and 80 RBI in 150 games.
The 27-year-old additionally is a stellar outfielder, who can play center field and right field, giving the Dodgers flexibility with respect to Cody Bellinger. The reigning National League MVP began the 2019 season in right field, played some first base, and finished as the everyday center fielder.
By trading Joc Pederson to the L.A. Angels, and Kenta Maeda to the Minnesota Twins the Dodgers are still in position to remain below the luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season. That could be a factor when the Dodgers work to sign Betts to presumably what will be a long-term contract.
Free agency hasn’t been particularly kind to L.A. over recent years, as president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman missed out on Bryce Harper and Gerrit Cole, among others.
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