Mookie Betts might never play for the Dodgers because of the coronavirus crisis

The Dodgers’ swaps for Mookie Betts used to be a win-now move, one of the greatest players of baseball for one chance to win the World Series. The Dodgers had not guaranteed anything after the 2020 season, as Betts was able to leave as a free agent after the season. “Data-reactid =” 32 “>The Dodgers’ swaps for Mookie Betts used to be a win-now move, one of the greatest players of baseball for one chance to win the World Series. The Dodgers had not guaranteed anything after the 2020 season, as Betts was able to leave as a free agent after the season.

Now, due to the coronavirus crisis, the Dodgers have not even guaranteed a 2020 season. That could mean Betts leaves the Dodgers without ever playing a game for them.

While the players’ league and union are negotiating contingency plans, a proposal on the table Wednesday would make Betts a free agent no matter what. In the event of the season being completely canceled, a player who completed a full season in 2019 would receive credit for a full season in 2020. That would give Betts the service time he needs to qualify for free agency.

That doesn’t mean that Betts would necessarily leave the Dodgers. Its value as a free agent could drop. If the season is canceled, the loss of broadcast rights and ticket sales could make the teams reluctant to make a commitment in excess of the $ 300 million he reportedly turned down from the Boston Red Sox.

The Dodgers can still provide Betts with a one-year qualifying offer for about $ 18 million, which could be a safe haven in an uncertain economy. The Dodgers have also said they plan to pursue a long-term agreement with Betts.

The All-Star game, scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium, may be delayed. “data-reactid =” 37 “> The league is still hoping to play a 2020 season, even with the increasing chance that the schedule will be shortened significantly. The All-Star game, scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium, may be delayed.

“We need to have a regular season with a credible number of matches,” Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN on Wednesday night.

The postseason format can also be changed, with more teams qualifying in a summer that Manfred said would almost certainly not consist of the traditional 162 games in the regular season and three rounds of the postseason.

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)“data-reactid =” 56 “>

Dodgers’ David Price, left, and Mookie Betts are presented at a news conference at Dodger Stadium on February 12. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)

“We probably can’t do that this year,” said Manfred. “I think that’s clear. It does give us the opportunity to do different things, to experiment and to ensure that we offer as many games as possible and the best possible product. ”

Manfred said he hoped MLB teams could resume training “sometime in May” and start the season in alternate locations and empty stadiums. He also admitted that the season may not be played at all, depending on the spread of the virus and the determination of local and national public health officials.

“It would be a huge hardship,” said Manfred. “It would be a hardship for our fans. It would be a hardship for our players. Frankly, it would be a huge economic hardship for our owners. ”

He said that the return of baseball, whenever it comes, will be “a real milestone in the return to normal” in the United States.

“If it’s safe to play, we’ll be back,” said Manfred. “We will be part of the recovery, the cure in this country of this particular pandemic.”

the Japan Times, Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami will be tested for the coronavirus and some of his teammates have problems with their taste, a newly recognized symptom of the virus, reported. “Data-reactid =” 65 “> The dangers of targeting a date to start playing were illustrated on Thursday in Japan, where players are in training and the league hopes to launch the coronavirus delayed season on April 24. the Japan Times, Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami will undergo a test for the coronavirus, and some of his teammates have reported problems with their sense of taste, a newly recognized symptom of the virus.

The service time proposal is part of a larger deal between owners and players that would involve cash advances until the game resumes, how salaries are settled when that happens, how far into the fall to get as many games as possible how many duplicate headings are possible, and how the annual draft and international signature period should be implemented.

“There is no deal yet,” said one person involved in the talks Wednesday evening. “Still negotiating.”

The Dodgers took over Betts, who would have been their best hitter and rightfielder, and Boston pitcher David Price last month for outfielder Alex Verdugo and two prospects, infielder Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. Price is under contract until 2022.

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