Dave Roberts says Mookie Betts ‘loves being a Dodger’
The coronavirus pandemic has thrust Mookie Betts’ future with the Los Angeles Dodgers into uncertainty, but his manager is taking on a hopeful tone.
Appearing this week on ESPN’s “The Jorge Sedano Show,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke on the worst-case possibility of Betts becoming a free agent in 2021 without playing in a single game for the team.
“I think that him being in spring training with us, the relationship I have with him personally, and the players and some coaches, it feels like he’s already played a season with us, which is very strange,” said Roberts, per Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. “Mookie has got to do what’s best for him and his family once that time does present itself. I know he loves being a Dodger. He hasn’t played a major league game yet, but as far as putting on that uniform in spring training, understanding what the fans and organization is about. The west coast living, he hasn’t felt that yet.”
The former AL MVP Betts, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster trade in February, will hit free agency next winter regardless of how many games are ultimately played in 2020. This is thanks to a deal the league recently reached with the players’ union in the wake of the pandemic that also contains other interesting provisions.
The Dodgers are not getting the opportunity to make an impression on Betts that they would have hoped for, but Roberts seems confident that the limited time they have already spent together will make for a strong enough case.