Here's one way the Red Sox win the Mookie Betts trade: if Betts never plays a game with the Dodgers.
That possibility was put to one of the centerpieces of the trade, Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, on a conference call on Monday.
"That would be pretty crazy," Verdugo said. "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."
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If there's no baseball season because of the coronavirus pandemic, then Betts would gain a year of service time and become a free agent. His pending free agency is what led the Red Sox to move him in the first place, since they did not trust they'd be able to keep him.
Now there's a possibility they'll have the same chance of acquiring him as anyone else, with his only memorable headline in a Dodgers cap being his introductory press conference.
Verdugo, meanwhile, isn't going anywhere. He won't be eligible for arbitration until after the 2021 season and he won't reach free agency until the conclusion of the 2024 season.
"That's important from a business standpoint, but as a player, me personally, I just care about playing," Verdugo said. "I'm not thinking about service time like that."