Red Sox

Alex Verdugo admits it 'would be pretty crazy' if Mookie Betts never plays for Dodgers

Alex Verdugo admits it 'would be pretty crazy' if Mookie Betts never plays for Dodgers

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."

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

How David Price opting out of 2020 season impacts Red Sox, MLB

We won't see David Price in Dodger blue this season, after all.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher announced Saturday via Twitter he won't play in Major League Baseball's shortened 2020 season, citing health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dodgers said in a statement they fully support Price's decision.

A handful of other stars already have opted out of the 2020 season -- including Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond and Washington Nationals teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross -- but Price is the biggest star yet to back out.

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From a business perspective, Price's decision saves the Red Sox some cash: Boston no longer has to pay its $5.7 million share of Price's $11.5 million prorated salary for 2020 after trading him to Los Angeles this offseason, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

The Red Sox were just under the luxury tax for their 2020 payroll prior to the pandemic, and while the 2020 luxury tax in the age of COVID-19 has yet to be determined, per Speier, taking Price off their books gives them some flexibility.

But Price's decision obviously is about much more than money. A handful of players already have tested positive for COVID-19 since teams began training camps July 1, and the 34-year-old veteran is one of several players who have legitimate safety concerns about playing the season.

Price was expected to be a key rotation member for the World Series favorite Dodgers, and his decision to step away might cause others to follow his lead.

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB, MLBPA announce initial coronavirus testing results

MLB and the MLB Players Association announced the results of the league's initial round of coronavirus testing on Friday.

According to their joint statement, 31 players and seven staff members tested positive out of the 3,185 total individuals tested (1.2 positivity rate). Nineteen of 30 teams had positive cases.


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While the results are promising, it's important to note there still will be significant health and safety hurdles for the league to avoid a spread when the 60-game season begins later this month. A number of teams, including the Boston Red Sox, started workouts Friday at their home ballparks.

Sox manager Ron Roenicke said Friday the team has some positive COVID-19 cases. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez did not join the rest of the team for the first day of workouts as he was "around somebody who was sick" and awaiting the results of his own coronavirus test.