Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Players to have full year of service time for 2020 even if season is shortened

MLB Rumors: Players to have full year of service time for 2020 even if season is shortened

There's a chance Mookie Betts will never play a single game as a Los Angeles Dodger.

OK, not a strong chance, but a chance nonetheless.

That's because MLB and the MLBPA are nearing a deal that would allow players to gain a year of service time even if the 2020 season is shortened or canceled, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Betts and the rest of the 2021 free agent class would still hit the open market.

“MLB has agreed to grant a full year of service to players who remain active for the entire 2020 season regardless of how many games the schedule includes, according to sources familiar with the discussions,” Rosenthal wrote.

Betts is set to headline a solid free-agent class that may also include Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, Marcus Semien, and Marcus Stroman. The 27-year-old superstar outfielder was traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers in February.

MLB has not yet announced a date for Opening Day, but reportedly is looking to start the season in June.

Who are the best catchers in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best catchers in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

For a position so essential to baseball — no player handles the ball more often — the catching ranks in Red Sox history are surprisingly shallow.

Multiple seasons belong to players like Johnny Peacock, Pinch Thomas, Hick Cady, Roxy Walters, and Muddy Ruel, names that sound like they should belong to bouncers before big leaguers.

The dearth of catching talent may partly explain why the Red Sox routinely featured lousy starting rotations, at least until Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, and Co. arrived to give the club perennial Cy Young contenders no matter who squatted behind the plate.

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Had this list extended to 10 instead of five, some of the names would surprise you. Wally Schang, anyone? How about Bill Carrigan? There'd definitely be room for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Anyway, the overall talent level may be thin, but the top five are legit, with three All-Stars and two Hall of Famers.

Click here for the top five catchers in Red Sox history.

Dave Roberts says former Red Sox Mookie Betts 'loves' being a Dodger

Dave Roberts says former Red Sox Mookie Betts 'loves' being a Dodger

Are Dave Roberts' latest comments about Mookie Betts just wishful thinking or reality?

The Los Angeles Dodgers manager said some interesting things about his new right fielder on ESPN's "The Sedano Show" Monday, including that he knows how Betts feels about being in Dodger blue.

I think him being in spring training with us — the relationship I have with him personally, and I think some players too, and coaches — it feels like he’s already played a season with us, which is strange. … Mookie’s gotta do what’s best for him and his family once that time does present itself, but I know that he loves being a Dodger.

After just eight spring training games, Betts "loves" being a Dodger? It seems like a stretch, but maybe getting out of Boston was that much of a relief for the 27-year-old.

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With the 2020 season on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak, it's possible we never see Betts play a regular-season game for the Dodgers. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players' Association agreed on a settlement that would let all pending free agents hit the open market if the coming season is canceled.

Betts, the 2018 American League MVP and World Series champion, likely will test free agency come 2021, and the Dodgers will have to pay a hefty price to keep him in L.A. 

If Dodgers ownership and team president Andrew Friedman decide to shell out the cash, then Betts will probably "love" being a Dodger even more.