5 Ways The Dodgers Can Control Their Narrative in 2020

Dodgers NLCS celebration. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Dodgers NLCS celebration. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Mookie Betts is the difference maker the Dodgers have been missing.

With expected departures looming, the Dodgers went into the offseason with some holes to plug. The loss of Hyun-Jin Ryu via free agency seemed like a certainty and Los Angeles was fully expected to be a player in the market for a replacement.

However, things went in a slightly different direction.

On February 11th, the Dodgers struck a big deal with the Boston Red Sox to acquire left-hander David Price. While the return of Price certainly filled the aforementioned need, it was by no means the centerpiece of the deal. That honor belonged to Mookie Betts.

Acquired along with David Price and cash in exchange for shortstop prospect Jeter Downs, outfielder Alex Verdugo, and catching prospect Connor Wong, Mookie Betts was the equivalent of the Dodgers pushing their chips into the center of the table and declaring to the rest of Major League Baseball that they were “all-in” for the 2020 season.

Short of acquiring Mike Trout, the Dodgers couldn’t have found a better player in the game to focus on. Second only to Trout in fWAR since 2015 (44.2 to 35.4) Betts is the epitome of a superstar that would be a perfect complement to Bellinger. Since 2015, his first full season, here are Betts’ ranks among MLB hitters:

Runs – 579 (1st)

Home Runs – 134 (23rd)

RBI – 452 (13th)

wRC+ – 135 (20th)

wOBA – .378 (19th)

BSR – 40.3 (2nd)

That says nothing of the value that Betts adds with the glove. Betts is the only player in baseball that has been ranked above Andrelton Simmons with the glove with a UZR/150 of 18.3 since 2015, with only Simmons and Kevin Kiermaier ranking higher in Defensive Runs Saved.

Outside of Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers have lived and died by the platoon and injuries in the outfield over the last couple of seasons. The addition of Betts gives them stability and a bonafide 5-tool player to an area that badly needed improvement.

If the ZIPS projections for Betts of .295/.375/.543 with 34 home runs, 126 runs, 21 stolen bases, and a wRC+ of 138 hold true, Dodgers fans should enjoy a special season in the grass.