Dodgers: Mookie Betts shines brightest on 1-year anniversary of trade
By Adam Weinrib
When the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts, they legitimately added one of the game’s greatest. This trade may never be repeated.
One year ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the best player in baseball, an all-encompassing dynamo named Mookie Betts.
One year ago, the game’s best right fielder was someone else’s property, and that someone else willfully surrendered his rights to another organization.
You can blink and pinch yourself as much as you want to, Dodgers fans. That actually happened. And something like it may very well never happen again.
On the eve of the one-year mark of the deal that helped break Los Angeles’ 32-year World Series drought, sending the Dodgers over the final dreaded hump, Betts was fittingly named the game’s greatest right fielder by MLB Network. That perfect crescendo on Year 1 really had us reexamining how exactly we got here — more specifically, how we got here so painlessly.
Ultimately, the Dodgers didn’t even benefit to the fullest extent possible from the “Mookie Betts Trade” in 2020 — after all, they missed out on the services of pitcher David Price, who should install himself as LA’s third starter in 2021. Things would’ve been a little simpler in October if Dave Roberts could’ve penciled Price into Game 3s throughout the postseason, but then again, they couldn’t possibly have gone any better, so we can’t complain.
But, try as he might to adopt a workmanlike attitude, this deal will always be all about Betts. When the Red Sox open the 2022 season, Alex Verdugo might just be their best player, taking center field from Jackie Bradley Jr. Jeter Downs could be Boston’s starting second baseman, complicating Kiké Hernandez’s path to playing time. Connor Wong could be itching for a big-league promotion.
And it just…wouldn’t matter. The Dodgers added Mookie Betts, the game’s best. He delivered on his championship promise in year one. There’s so much more to come here.
Modern fans have a tendency to overcomplicate transactions, in which intrinsically one team must give to get.
Some days, Verdugo will go 3-for-4, peppering the Green Monster while Betts scuffles or rests. It will be momentarily frustrating for Dodgers fans, because the knee-jerk reaction is always annoyance.
But the Dodgers “gave” intriguing pieces, and they got the best player in Major League Baseball, non-Trout Division. The trade has already been won. And as it turns one and the Dodgers get ready to hoist some more hardware ceremonially on Opening Day, that should be painfully clear to every Angelino and budget-crunching Bostonian.
The Red Sox twitter account said it best accidentally while venerating the team for tripping under the luxury tax threshold: If you know, you know, right?