While he played only 8 spring training games with the club, Dodgers offseason acquisition Mookie Betts has already had a season’s worth of headlines surrounding him. Paramount of which have been surrounding the narrative that the 27-year-old could become a free agent without ever playing a regular season game for Los Angeles.
Of course, that’s a doomsday scenario that, if we get there, there’s a whole mess of bigger problems in the world.
On Monday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spent some time on the phone with ESPN LA radio host Jorge Sedano where they covered the standard gamut of questions like “what are you doing” and “are you keeping in touch with your players?”
However, on the topic of Mookie Betts, Doc had a fresh perspective.
Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts talks about Mookie Betts and how a possible season-cancellation affects their new star's future.
— ESPN Los Angeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) April 6, 2020
While he acknowledged the disappointment of LA potentially losing Mookie along with the 2020 season, Roberts found some positive takeaways when it comes to the Dodgers and Betts re-upping on a deal for 2021 and beyond.
I think him being in spring training with us — the relationship I have with him personally, and I think some players too, and coaches — it feels like he’s already played a season with us, which is strange. … Mookie’s gotta do what’s best for him and his family once that time does present itself, but I know that he loves being a Dodger.
In only 8 spring training games Betts loves being a Dodger? While it may be a little bit of a reach, it’s still reasonable to surmise that the immediate relief of being away from Boston and the Boston media could be enough to help the star already love his new home.
Plus he looks pretty good in blue.
The 2018 AL MVP has had something of a target on his back since the MLB and MLBPA came to a multi-million dollar agreement that included language that would make dozens of players free agents ahead of 2021 if no 2020 season is played. Baseball analysts on ESPN questioned whether Betts would have any potential loyalty to the Dodgers in free agent negotiations.
Of course, as Roberts said, Mookie’s gotta do what’s best for him and his family.
With the MLB season still up in the air, there will undoubtedly be more Mookie/LA talk before games are played in earnest.