Mookie Betts: I'd Like to Celebrate Dodgers World Series After Red Sox Trade

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 29: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox looks on after the Red Sox defeat Baltimore Orioles 5-4 at Fenway Park on September 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Mookie Betts gave his first comments as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team officially introduced him and David Price on Wednesday.

The Dodgers acquired Betts and Price from the Boston Red Sox in the offseason's biggest blockbuster to date. Betts is widely considered to be the second-best position player in MLB behind Mike Trout. He had a .524 slugging percentage and .915 OPS to go along with 29 home runs and 80 RBI in 2019.

The 27-year-old has high hopes of his time in Los Angeles, telling reporters he's aiming to win his second World Series title.

The Red Sox traded him to help get under the luxury tax for 2020. Betts received an MLB-record $27 million in his final year of arbitration and becomes a free agent next offseason.

Now, he's no longer under contract with the team, and Boston is on the hook for only half of Price's $32 million salary.

Betts was understandably noncommittal about his long-term future with the Dodgers.

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As for a return to Boston, the former Red Sox star made it clear his focus was on the upcoming season.

"I love Boston, man," Betts said, per the Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams. "But I do know that it's a business and I have to worry about 2020 right now and get to that point whenever it's time."

The Red Sox drafted Betts in the fifth round of the 2011 draft and he spent his entire professional career with the organization. He was a four-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and the 2018 American League MVP in Boston.

He said the protracted nature of the rumors regarding his eventual trade made the situation a little easier to process, per Yianni Kourakis of WPRI 12: "It was something I had to get use to. Once I expected it was going to happen, it was fine. I'm playing the same game, just in a different uniform."

Betts and Price spoke positively about their experiences with the Red Sox.

With the addition of Betts, Los Angeles strengthened what was already one of MLB's best offenses, led by reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger.

"He won an MVP last year so he's definitely going to put on a show," Betts said of his new teammate, per the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett. "I'll do my best to keep up with him."

Now, Betts and Price will head to Glendale, Arizona, to join the Dodgers for spring training.

The team opens its spring slate Feb. 22 against the San Francisco Giants.