Dodgers: Why Mookie Betts, others have incentive to skip 50 game season

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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A.J. Pollock, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Dodgers with incentive to skip 2020 season: 2) A.J. Pollock

There is one player on the Dodgers roster who has benefited from the extra time away from the game, and that is A.J. Pollock.

The Dodgers outfielder has used the break to spend time with his family after his wife gave birth to a baby girl at only 24 weeks. Luckily, it appears the newborn is doing well and healthy, but it has been an extremely stressful time, as Pollock has explained in recent interviews.

While Pollock will confer with doctors over the risks associated with returning to play, and he has indicated it appears he will be able to participate in the 2020 season, if MLB owners refuse to budge on player salary demands, and the season is shortened to only 50 games as a result, could Pollock decide, at that point, it makes more sense to stay home with his newborn baby?

In 2019, Pollock signed a four-year, $55 million contract to play in Los Angeles, which includes an opt-out after the 2021 season if the right-handed hitter accumulates 1,000 plate appearances in 2020-21. Obviously, that qualifier would need to be adjusted over a shortened season, or else there is no chance of Pollock reaching it with a 50-game season in 2020.

Either way, it seems unlikely he would be worried about that contract clause as he is expected to play a platoon role with Joc Pederson, and the remaining value of his contract beyond 2021 is likely going to be larger than what he could receive again in the open market.

Pollock is an example of a player who has legitimate family concerns, as he tries to keep a prematurely born baby healthy, in deciding whether to play a shortened season.