The possibility of Mookie Betts hitting free agency during the winter without ever playing a game with the Los Angeles Dodgers would be shocking to one of the players involved in his blockbuster trade.
Alex Verdugo, whom the Boston Red Sox acquired along with Jeter Downs and Connor Wong from the Dodgers for Betts and David Price, told reporters during a conference call Monday that Betts not suiting up for his new team would be “pretty crazy.”
“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,” the outfielder said, according to the New York Post.
Betts signed a one-year, $27 million deal with the Red Sox before he was traded to avoid arbitration. It was the highest ever one-year salary for an arbitration-eligible player. Betts won the American League MVP award in 2018 and was runner-up for the award in 2016.
Betts could become an unrestricted free agent prior to the start of the 2021 season. But if Majjor League Baseball doesn’t conjure up a plan to return to the field, it’s possible Betts doesn’t appear in a Dodgers uniform during the regular season.
The upcoming free-agent market could make for one of the more interesting offseasons in recent memory. Betts could join a class featuring J.T. Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, George Springer, James Paxton and Marcus Stroman.