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Does a Shortened MLB Season Jeopardize the Mookie Betts Trade?

Dodgers priming for big financial hit during upcoming season.



The Dodgers capped off the 2019 offseason with the biggest wave of them all; a trade for MVP candidate and one of the greatest current baseball players: Mookie Betts. After making one of the biggest baseball moves of the decade it seemed the Dodgers were set up for a slam dunk of a season. Unfortunately with the coronavirus pandemic affecting our the certainty of our institutions we may be looking at a drastically shortened season with the possibility of a limit on the number of fans attending games. With all this uncertainty looming over baseball and the Dodgers one has to ask, does this harm the value of the Mookie Betts trade?

A better question might not be “does this harm the value”, but rather “how much” is this trades value harmed?

When you think of the Mookie Betts trade in terms of pure value, both on and off the field, you don’t just consider the boost he’ll bring to on-the-field performance. When you trade for one of the greatest players in the game you aren’t just trading for his on-field production; from a business standpoint you’re bringing in a flood of revenue from increased ticket sales, boosted media exposure and an overall boost in fan experience. When talking about the Dodgers it seems crazy to think that one single player could exponentially boost the exposure and revenue of a organization that is the definition of “top-class”, but we aren’t talking about any player. We aren’t even talking about a run of the mill All-Star. We’re talking the next best thing to Mike Trout. We’re talking about the golden child of the East Coast. We’re talking Mookie Betts.

You can pencil Betts in for a .900+ OPS over the course of a full season and when you factor in the lineup surrounding Betts there’s more than a good chance he sees career highs across the board. I wouldn’t doubt he’d hit 35+ HR’s for the Dodgers and shatter his current career-high RBI total of 113. Betts is a run producing machine who so happens to share a lineup with a host of run producing monsters. You have the two-bag terror in Corey Seager, who was a league leader with his 44 doubles on the season in 2019. There’s Clutch King Justin Turner, who slugged .531 when batting with 2 outs (187 Total Plate Appearances). There’s also fellow MVP candidate Cody Bellinger, who doesn’t need a stat run through to point out how dangerous he is.

But it seems as if all of that would be in jeopardy; not only are we set up to miss Betts taking a shot at 35 HRs, we’re missing out on a whole run of career highs and record breakers. Bellinger definitely won’t be touching 40 HRs if the season is cut short and we may be cheated out of giving Justin Turner a proper final hurrah should this be his final season as a Dodger. Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger battling head to head for the NL MVP is the must see ticket to end all must see tickets, yet with the state of baseball in flux we may not get the full value of that rare ticket.

The fact of the matter is we’re looking at a season that may not begin until June and with rumblings from Bob Nightengale and even former MLB player Trevor Plouffe that the season might be on hold until July with the possibility of no fans in attendance things are looking more dire by the day. This would take things either one of two ways; either we’re looking at Christmas baseball (which would be legendary) or we’re looking at a dramatically shortened season. Are we looking at a season cut right in half? Maybe not, but we’re at the point where that isn’t out of the total realm of possibility. Team owners definitely would not be on board with that much lost revenue; yet that’s where the problem lies, it won’t be up to team owners.

This is where the value of the Mookie Betts trade comes into play, and again we aren’t talking pure on the field value. A big part of the Mookie Betts trade centered around the Dodgers providing salary relief for the Red Sox by taking on half of the David Price contract. The Dodgers are out $40 plus mil and while that’s not a big concern considering the financial successes of the Dodgers it was expected that boost in revenue from securing Mookie Betts would take pressure off the Dodgers boost in payroll. That’s where the shortened season hurts the Dodgers the most. Betts is bringing the entire East Coast world of sports media with him, and with that an entire fanbase of Mookie Betts loyalists.

Sure all teams are going to be hurt by the financial losses from a shortened season though it seems the Dodgers might be feeling the burn the hardest. If it truly comes to pass that the MLB will put a cap on fans coming to games, with a possibility of no fansthe Dodgers will be fresh out of luck. This isn’t just hurting the business, this is going to hurt the fan experience BIG time. Do you think the Dodgers would have traded for Mookie Betts if they knew the season might be shortened and there could be little to no fans coming to see the games? I don’t know about you but I find it highly unlikely the Dodgers would pull the trigger if they saw the possible financial void looming in the near future. It’s not like Dodger fans will be able to conveniently sit at the television and watch Mookie Betts play either; so not only have Dodger fans been robbed of the ability to be able to sit at home and watch their team, they might just have the opportunity to see Betts live stolen from them too.

All in all the Dodgers are upgrading in the grandest way possible with Mookie Betts and no doubt will be a playoff terror in 2020. But it isn’t so much about the destination of winning the World Series, it’s the journey in watching the team climb from zero to 100+. We might not even get to see the Dodgers attempt to secure 100+ wins this year. At the end of the day it’s clear the Dodgers won’t be receiving the value they thought they would from Betts though that is no fault of Betts. The Dodgers will be making another World Series run whether it takes place in a 162 game season or an 81 game season without a doubt, though the idea that fans may be barred from games sucks some life from that notion.

A World Series run is a World Series run no matter how you cut it, but then again if a tree falls and no one is around to witness it does it make a sound?

NEXT: Dodgers Players Send a Message to Fans Amid Baseball Shut Down

Written by Ryan Falla

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  1. I have a feeling this whole crisis is going to blow over sooner than later. I’m no infectious disease expert, but if the virus takes a max of 2 weeks to incubate and most people have been pretty much quarantined for a week now, you’re going to see a huge influx of new patients this next week and then a steep drop after that. I’m going to stick with being optimistic and say we’ll see baseball in May, possibly without fans at first

    • I am hoping for that too, but I foresee the season being cancelled. As things sweep from the west and east coasts, inward, we will see the areas hit, recovering, then the cycle will begin as it moves inland. It will take too long for this to run its course. The only option that might work, is to have a very late season, that is shortened, played at covered stadiums or southern baseball fields, but with a high probability of rain-outs. It is so unknown as to how this will work its way out. This is bigger than baseball. A silver lining, if you can call it that, is that the stadium will be finished and 100% ready for baseball when it does resume. When this is over with, I will watch baseball at anytime in the year, in a hail storm, thunder storm. It won’t matter. Heck, I can sit in an empty Dodger Stadium with a PB&J just staring at the field. Stay safe and God bless you all.

  2. I have to disagree with the premise of this article. The Betts trade was made with a single intention. To raise the WS flag at the end of the season. The journey to get there was not the point, nor were the stats that would be generated. The irony would be if the season were canceled and Betts became a free agent without playing for the Dodgers at all. If Dodgers play half a season with no fans in the stands and still win the WS with Betts making a major contribution then the trade is still a success. That’s the bottom line.

    • Best player in baseball is not trout anymore get it in your hard head.Cody is way much better and younger,and doesn’t take steroids like trout and Mookie isn’t better than Yelic.Hell We’ll be lucky if Mookie hits 280 and 10 hrs 45 rbis,and no he won’t be battling Cody for mvp that will be Corey Seager battling for mvp.

      • Bellingers a choke artist and a selfish player. He’s shown he’s capable of shortening up and going the other way or bunting against the shift but doesn’t always do it when it’s needed he’ll go through long stretches where he’s just swinging for the fences and striking out a ton especially in the postseason

  3. How does it work if a stoppage is via an act of God? Do the players all get their full salaries. Does insurance cover any of it or are the Dodgers and other teams responsible for 100% of the full salaries?

  4. There won’t be any season at all and next years season won’t start on time if at all. They are depopulating

    • Don, there are many accomplishments with the virus for the serpents. They will hold out on the season long enough to destroy small businesses, bankrupt as many people as possible burning allof their savings, declare cash as a virus distributer to go cashless. Close all voting poll stations making the vote Only via electronic and internet which both can be manipulated and fudged. Everything to try and make the president fail. Notice the primaries all keep going on? Everyone stay at home because it’s unsafe to go out, but you can vote, as long as it’s for Bernie or Biden.

      • Kirk why do you hate yourself so much that you would defend some millionaires over others because you think those millionaires have your back? You should know by now that they are just using you. Millionaires do not care about you no matter what party they claim! Put down the playbook honey, even Fox News has passed you by.

        The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.
        -Annie Savoy

        • Annie Truth is contagious and Millionaires are what makes Capitalism thrive. The only reason we can have a Pro ball team is because Millionaires provide jobs. Jobs create freedom for people, and prosperity. I will never put the “playbook” down. The playbook is the Constitution of the United States of America! You should join us Annie, take your head out of the sand, and fight the goof fight against the Communist masters that you appear to adhere to…

          • Honey, you may be a lost cause. The brainwash seems complete. Still would have a beer with you in a corner bar. I would ask you to consider, my boomer friend, how could it ever be that millionaires create anything when it is WE who do the work? How? You know that Capitalism is profit driven. So where my friend do you fit in? Are you a millionaire? Or are you a factory worker, service sector, blue collar, manufacturer, street sweeping, disabled Vet, etc. Darling Kirk, your future is so much brighter when you shake off the burden of giving your power to elites.

          • Annie, since your post about being a slave to millionaires doesn’t have a reply giff on your post I’ll reply under my last. I’d love to have a beer with you sister. My question to you is since you hate Millionaires, and wealthy people, what the heck are you doing on a Billion dollar Dodgers organization website? Where every player on the team is a millionaire? The reason I’m here is to talk Dodgers, and since this incredible time is in our midst, I find it appropriate to talk Politic of the World event since there is no baseball. I can’t recall ever seeing you here to talk Dodgers with us. Why are you here?

      • Kirk this site is not run by billionaires. It’s a Fan Website. You think the billionaires would let articles cracking on ownership be published if this site was under their ownership? Economics 101 sweetheart.

        “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.”  – Yogi Berra 

        • Well you do have a point. The actual Dodgers home website was disbanded to the public because the feedback to it’s mngt was not favorable to them. And you just answered my question by quoting a Enemy of the Dodgers Yogi Berra…Good luck Annie, look up what a Torie was in 1780.. You may find a better definition of yourself sweetheart….

  5. We got Price in that trade unless some of you choose to forget that. I’d still have made that trade. Sure, I guess that we could have gotten Price without Mookie and it probably wouldn’t have cost us Jeter Downs and Connor Wong, but neither one looked like they would ever find their way onto our MLB roster anyway, so no big loss in my opinion. So it really boils down to Verdugo for Price. I’m OK with that.

  6. Dodgers don’t need Mookie to win world series Dodgers got cheated twice including Mookie and his sox.It will be one of the worst trades Dodgers have made,after Mookie has down season and signs with another team and Duggie goes on to become a great hitter for the sox.Duggie will be a Mom at type hitter going for batting titles without cheating.

  7. @KLD;

    I read that in the event of national emergencies, disasters such as we have currently, all contracts have a clause suspending time basically (forget the exact language). So contacts will basically skip the season if it’s canceled due to the above conditions.

    These clauses are via MLB and the CBA with the players association. All contracts have the clause.

    Best i can offer info wise.

  8. It’s possible we MIGHT be able to salvage a half season…I’m not betting on it…But if we do and we can win the Series than it was worth the bucks!
    Mookie played …what 3 games and then got sick…It’s also possible that after all that hype with the great trade….they paid 30Million bucks for those 2 or 3 spring games!!!!
    REALLY it’s too bad ‘caus they really have the best team in the National League this year!!!

  9. So out of the 3.5 million in the L.A. area, do any of you guys actually have any family members that actually have the Virus? Know of anyone that has the Virus? I know a few people that have the flu and were tested but don’t have the virus.

    • This whole thing is blown out of proportion. No one in my family knows anyone with it, I don’t know anyone with it, even people in small towns where everyone knows everybody supposedly have cases in that town yet somehow no one knows who they are.

      • Vector-In epidemiology, a disease vector is any agent which carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism;…could be Fox News, Could be Covid-19.

        The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.
        -Annie Savoy

      • I made a comment to both you and Al but it’s not being posted hopefully by tomorrow it’ll show up. Must be too much truth in it

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