Right now, all Los Angeles Dodgers fans are waiting on a Mookie Betts trade to be finalized. While in some respects it feels like this deal as we know it may be on the ropes, Betts has been silent about making the move to Los Angeles.
Now through a conversation Betts had with former Red Sox great Jim Rice, we are able to learn how Betts felt when the trade went down. Recently, Rice joined MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM to talk about a conversation he had with Betts when the trade went down. It’s an interesting listen.
Hall of Famer Jim Rice spoke to Mookie Betts last night.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 5, 2020
First off, this deal from the Red Sox side was very much about staying under the luxury tax threshold according to Rice.
“They knew this was coming, and it had to happen. I think this whole situation was about trying to get under the luxury tax and they felt like they would only have Mookie for one more year. Then who knows, the highest bidder.”
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Equally important, Betts acknowledges that he loved playing in Boston. Still, the player knows that baseball is a business and Boston did what it had to do.
“I talked to Mookie last night, even when I was doing NESN. And I asked him about it and he came out and said ‘look, this is my home. I don’t want to go anyplace else’. He said he didn’t care what people have said or what they’re talking about, this is my home and I want to say here. Then I talked to him last night and he said I’m going to tell you what I told you before, I wanted to stay. But it was a business deal and he couldn’t do anything about it. They choose to go that way and Mookie knows he has to accept it.”
Dodgers legend Orel Hershiser talked about the desire to remain with your team but the business of baseball getting in the way earlier this week, and seeing some career parallels with Mookie Betts.
These are interesting details to learn as we all wait nervously to get this thing finalized. Certainly, it would be a different feel to the upcoming season if Dodgers fans aren’t able to give Betts the proper welcome he deserves.