A glorious day for the Dodgers and their fans alike, today was the day that the Dodgers capitalized on the trade they made with the Red Sox for Mookie Betts back in February. Andrew Friedman finally made the $100,000,000+ offer to the star he'd been waiting for ever since he took over the Dodgers Front Office in 2014. And boy, did he choose a good one. Signing Betts to a 12 year $365,000,000, Friedman confirmed that the 2nd best player in baseball will be wearing Dodger blue when he retires, and probably even when he's entering into the Hall of Fame 5 years later.
Both sides resumed preliminary talks from Spring Training last week and hurried to finish the contract before Opening Day, per Betts' wishes. He said he didn't want anything distracting him when the Dodgers face Johnny Cueto and the Giants tomorrow, but frankly I'm not sure anything could "distract" this lineup of Dodgers. In their three exhibition games they clobbered the Diamondbacks twice (combined score 23-3) and beat the Angels (always a tough matchup for some reason) 4-6.
The first five hitters in the lineup, along with Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor, performed particularly well. In their first inning played against another team, the Dodgers forced the Diamondbacks to use a pitch count/mercy rule to turn the inning over without recording any outs (Bellinger hit a grand slam and Seager walked). The Dodgers forced this rule into play twice the next day as well. Against the Angels, they were even nice enough to bat in the bottom of the ninth to give Angels pitchers some more work, much to broadcasters Joe Davis' and Orel Hershiser's delight and bewilderment.
If anything from the Dodgers' exhibition games and signing of can be read into here, it's that they're ready to go. There will be no slow, sluggish start this season. No postseason tryouts in August. The pitchers aren't giving up runs. The hitters aren't making outs. Everybody, even the back-ups and guys who would start on other teams but are blocked by the talent on the Dodgers, is looking their best. The team knows what's at stake, and they don't want to waste what just might be the most talented team ever assembled in Dodgers (or even baseball) history.
Good luck to the rest of the National League.
Photo Credit: Dodgers' Twitter