Alex Verdugo: It ‘would be pretty nuts’ if Mookie Betts never plays for Dodgers

Alex Verdugo agrees it would be “pretty crazy” if the player he was traded for, Mookie Betts, never suited up for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.


Everyone has an opinion on the blockbuster trade that brought Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that was before a global pandemic put the entire Major League Baseball season on hold, and jeopardizes the chance of seeing Betts in a Dodger uniform before he is eligible to become a free agent.

Former Dodger Alex Verdugo, who was a key piece in the Betts trade, offered his comments about the possibility of the MVP never getting to play for the Dodgers.

“That would be pretty crazy,” Verdugo said via NBC Sports. “That would be pretty nuts. I really haven’t thought about it that much, but I think it’s a tough situation if that is the scenario for the Dodgers, but hey, that’s part of life, right? We can’t expect these things. For the Dodgers, that’s a tough deal.”

Verdugo has been recovering from a back injury that he suffered in Los Angeles last August. During the same conference call with reporters where he offered his comments on Betts, he revealed that he is feeling “100 percent” and has resumed hitting at the Red Sox’ spring training facility in Florida. Players rehabbing from injuries are still allowed to access team facilities, despite the social distancing restrictions in place across the league.

The 23-year-old live-wire played in 106 games for the Dodgers last season. In his first full season in the big leagues, he showed plenty of potential in batting .294/.342/.475 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs.

On top of two prospects (Jeter Downs and Connor Wong) for dealing Betts, the Red Sox gained Verdugo, who is clearly major league ready, and still under team control for five more seasons.

Mookie Betts is set to become a free agent in the offseason, whether 2020 games are played or not. The Player’s Association was able to work out a deal with MLB that will allow players to accumulate service time even if the season is ultimately canceled. It is for this reason that some worry Betts will never get the opportunity to play for the Dodgers, making the trade of Verdugo and prospects a potentially wasteful one for president Andrew Friedman.

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However, optimism remains that a 2020 season will be played.