Neither seemed fazed by the trade that dragged out for over a week before it was finalized. Betts described the waiting game as “fun at times, kind of stressful at times.” Price said being moved from one storied franchise to another was “something special.”
“It wasn't as easy for us,” joked Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations. Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, joins current NL MVP Cody Bellinger in the Dodgers' outfield. Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, joins three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw in the starting rotation.
“Definitely going to be pretty special,” Betts said. “He's going to put on a show and I'll do my best to keep up with him.” Friedman sees the 2020 Dodgers as “quite possibly our most talented team.” Betts was traded for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old right fielder was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011 and made his big-league debut three years later.
“I have a lot of memories in Boston. The most fun is the World Series,” he said, alluding to the 2018 title won by the Red Sox at Dodger Stadium. “That was a great chapter in my life.” Price said, “I know it's tough for Red Sox nation to see Mookie leave.”
The players were introduced at Dodger Stadium before catching an evening flight to Arizona, where the team opens spring training Thursday. Beyond Betts and Price in center field, construction crews worked on the outfield pavilions where a major renovation project is underway.
Betts will keep his No. 50 jersey, chosen long ago because “nobody wants it," he said. “I'd like to celebrate again here in this jersey for sure,” Betts said.
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