Roberts: Feels like Mookie Betts already played a season with us

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Dave Roberts discussed the possibility of losing Mookie Betts to free agency in 2021.

Dodgers fans have two fears about the 2020 season: one, the most obvious, that the season will be canceled; and two, if it is canceled, that Mookie Betts will never get the chance to play in Dodger blue.

A recent agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association ensures players, like Betts, will receive a year of service time, even if no games are played in 2020. This is important for Betts because he currently has five years of service, needing one additional year to qualify for free agency. If MLB refused service time in 2020, it would have meant Betts’ free agency eligibility could have potentially been delayed until 2021.

Despite concerns about the worst case scenario (of Betts leaving without even getting the chance to play in 2020), Dodgers manager Dave Roberts feels confident in where the organization stands with the former MVP.

“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 very strange,” Roberts said on The Sedano Show on Monday. “I know that he loves being a Dodger, hasn’t played a Major League game yet, but as far as putting that uniform on during Spring Training, understanding what the fans, the organization is about.”

In a wide-ranging conversation with Sedano, Roberts said he is in contact with a handful of Dodgers personnel everyday, as he tries to balance maintaining communication with each of the players on his 40-man roster, while being respectful of their time with their families.

The Dodgers manager also discussed how he is spending his time during the quarantine and gave his thoughts on wacky ideas to jumpstart the game of baseball, such as Justin Turner’s idea of ending extra inning games with a home run derby.

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Roberts has been making the media rounds to keep fans informed during the pause in baseball activity.