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Dodgers: From Astros News to Betts Trade Issues, it’s Been a Rollercoaster Off-Season

The ultimate emotional rollercoaster.



The Dodgers 2019 season ended in heartache with a NLDS Game 5 loss to the Washington Nationals, the team that would go on to win the World Series. Immediately fans began looking for some kind of consolation.

Less than one week from Spring Training, we’re still waiting.

Sadness

Following the earlier-than-expected departure from the 2019 postseason, fans sought comfort in dreams from the free agent market. That didn’t happen. First fans had to say farewell to the retiring David Freese. Acquired just ahead of the 2018 postseason and re-signed for 2019, David Freese was a quick fan favorite.  His clutch hitting and hilarious series of post game interviews made him loved by all.

Hope, then heartache.

The Dodgers were “in on” Stephen Strasburg, until they weren’t. He re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Next, being used as Boras pawns to get the price up, they lost out on on Gerrit Cole who wanted to be on the New York Yankees the whole time. Then the Dodgers shifted their focus to Anthony Rendon.  Ultimately, the perceived “Hollywood Lifestyle” of a true Los Angeles baseball team, scared him south to the “Los Angeles” Angels of Anaheim. 

Related: The Fallout From Missing on Cole and Strasburg

Disappointment.

As fans rebounded from those strike outs, they began seeking contentment with thoughts of bringing back their 2019 rotation. They struck out again. Hyun-Jin Ryu chose to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. Then, in appropriate fashion, fans cursed at the news of Rich Hill signing with the Minnesota Twins over a reunion with the Dodgers. 

Anger, pain.

In the middle of all that, the world, but most importantly Dodgers fans, learned that the Houston Astros cheated on their way to winning the 2017 World Series and that Boston Red Sox had allegedly cheated on their way to winning 2018 World Series. Two World Series’ in which Dodger fans bore witness to those teams celebrating victory at Dodger Stadium.

Realizing that perhaps the 32-year championship drought could’ve already been over, fans were forced to relive and experience the disappointment of those seasons. 

Agony of trade rumors.

In 2020, as fans await the MLB’s findings on the Boston Red Sox cheating allegations, the Dodgers turned to trade options. In particular, they were rumored to be targeting Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians or Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox. These rumors swirled around the notion that the Indians might have wanted Corey Seager along with top prospects Gavin Lux and Dustin May.

While fans haven’t had the opportunity to get too emotionally attached to Lux or May, they recognize that the Dodgers have been successful by retaining their prospects.  They still wanted Lindor, but for less than what the Indians were demanding. Andrew Friedman didn’t budge and the Indians pulled back. Fans, while happy to have kept their prospects, were frustrated on another miss. We all want our cake and eat it too. 

Enter to Win a Cody Bellinger Jersey!

The “Blockbuster Trade”

In mid-late January talks of a trade for Mookie Betts began to heat up. With the Red Sox looking to get under the luxury tax line they were more willing to deal their 2018 MVP for less than the top prospects that the Indians wanted. On February 4, a three-team trade was announced with the Dodgers acquiring Mookie Betts, David Price and cash (to cover half of Price’s contract); the Dodgers would send Kenta Maeda to the Twins and fan-favorite Alex Verdugo to the Red Sox. Additionally, the Twins would send Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox as well.

Separate, but contingent upon this trade, the Dodgers would send Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Angels for second baseman Luis Rengifo. Finally, Dodgers fans had reason to celebrate this offseason… for a minute.

The Delay

The day after the “trade”, it was announced that there was a hold up surrounding the Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol. The Red Sox apparently viewed him as a starting pitcher and his medical review did not reflect that view. The Red Sox are now seeking another top prospect from the Twins or compensation elsewhere. While the problem lies between the two teams the Dodgers probably want Mookie Betts and David Price more than the Twins want Kenta Maeda, which leaves fans in anxiety ridden limbo.

Closing Thoughts

This off-season has been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster if you are a Dodger fan. The 2019 early exit from the postseason, goodbyes to past players, free agent disappointments, failed trades, painful flashbacks of World Series “losses”, and now stalled blockbuster trades. To top it off, many Dodger fans are sports fans, they’re Lakers fans and we also continue to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant. It’s been plain rough. We don’t want to get our hopes up, just to be let down again. Why get excited for something that may fall apart?

Well, because we’re fans and it’s what we do. It’s baseball and why we love it. It’s the Dodgers and they’re worth it.

NEXT: MLB Player’s Union Demands Resolution on Betts Trade

Written by Jason McClure

Technically a Dodgers bandwagon fan. At 5 years old, I decided they were my favorite team after hearing they won the World Series on my mom’s car radio in 1988. My father (technically my stepfather) watered that seed, teaching me the game and introducing me to the beauty of Dodger Stadium. We got to know each other and bonded over games. Even when we couldn’t get along during my teenage years, we could come together over Vin Scully’s voice and a game. Dodger baseball is, and will always be, so much more than just a game.

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