Mookie Betts was willing to change positions for Aaron Judge
Mookie Betts was willing to do anything to persuade Aaron Judge to come to Los Angeles.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verduccimeant trading the outfield for second base to make way for the reigning American League MVP.
“Yeah, that probably sounds like something I said,” Betts told Verducci. “But hey, that was going to be hard.”
Judge ultimately stayed with the Yankees in the off-season, signing a massive nine-year, $360 million deal in December.
It wouldn’t have been much of an effort for Betts, a six-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and former right-hand rival from his days with the Red Sox.
Betts was drafted by Boston in 2011 as a second baseman from Overton High School in Nashville.
However, he never spoke directly to Judge about possible joining forces.
“No, I won’t,” Betts said. “I want guys to do what’s best for them and their families.”
With the Dodgers facing a potential infield crisis after Gavin Lux’s season-ending injury, Betts’ versatility looks likely to come in handy.
“It’s real,” LA manager Dave Roberts said about the likelihood of Betts from log time to second. “The way I imagine Mookie starts about 40 games at second base and 110 in the outfield.”
If Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, and Judge ended up on the same roster, it would have been quite a spectacle, as the already-stacked Dodgers would have added another big contract player.
Betts is in the early years of a 12-year, $365 million contract — the second richest overall deal in MLB — even though Judge’s $40 million AAV ranks baseball’s third.
Betts, 30, and the Dodgers posted the best regular season record in MLB in 2022 of 111-51, but the franchise was eliminated from the playoffs after falling to the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the National League Division Series .