BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox fans had a tough time seeing Mookie Betts put on his Dodger blue following the star’s trade from Boston. They may not have to see it again.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement Thursday night that ironed out the details of a number of issues caused by the league’s coronavirus shutdown. While there’s no word on what a potential 2020 schedule could look like, or if there will even be a 2020 season, one of the major agreements is that players will receive full service time for the 2020 season.
That means anyone who is slated to hit free agency following the 2020 season will still become a free agent — even if the season isn’t played. That would include the biggest name about to hit the market, one Markus Lynn Betts.
Yep, Mookie Betts could hit the open market without ever playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, chances are Betts won’t be returning to Boston, since the Red Sox don’t seem very eager to break the bank for the superstar. But if the 2020 season is canceled, Los Angeles would have to dish out a monster contract to get a long-awaited Betts’ Dodgers debut in 2021, even after surrendering a trio of prospects to Boston to get him for the 2020 season.
So the Red Sox would get to keep Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Colton Wong — all of whom are under team control for a few more years — and the Dodgers may be left with just a 36-year-old David Price to show for their blockbuster swap. That would change the outlook on a disastrous trade for the Red Sox just a little bit.
Of course for the Red Sox, they’d have a few of their own free agents hitting the market, including Jackie Bradley Jr., Brandon Workman and Kevin Pillar. Pillar would become a free agent without playing for Boston.
But losing Pillar without seeing him in a Boston uniform is a little bit easier to stomach than losing Betts without seeing him play a game for your team.