Outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price were formally introduced as members of the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, where they sat in center field and put on their new jerseys for the first time.
Betts was given No. 50, the same number he wore in Boston, and Price received No. 33 (Price wore 24 and then 10 with the Red Sox.)
“We’re coming here to play the game the same way we always do,’’ Betts said. “We’re winners, and we’re going to bring it here.’’
They’ve arrived. pic.twitter.com/UAcvATulxe— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 12, 2020
The Dodgers lost both the 2017 and 2018 World Series, and lost in the National League Division Series to the eventual champion Nationals last season. Many view the acquisition of Betts and Price as key moves to return Los Angeles to the top of the baseball world.
“To be able to jump on a team like the Dodgers, with the amount of talent here, that’s something special to be a part of and we’re both very excited about that,’’ Price said.
There it is. pic.twitter.com/U8XntHcFFY— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) February 12, 2020
Both players were asked about their memories of their time in Boston.
“I’d say the most fond is the World Series,’’ said Betts, who helped the Red Sox defeat the Dodgers in five games in 2018. “From the debuts to the ins and outs every day of being around Boston, I have so many memories. That was a great chapter in my life for sure.’’
Said Price: “We won a lot of games. We won three AL East division titles and were able to win a World Series title in 2018. For myself, 2018 was very special at the end and those were very good memories.’’
For Price, the switch to the NL is more than just a change of scenery.
“Now I have to swing the bat and run the bases,’’ Price said. “For me, it really takes baseball back to the high school days and just being a little kid. I didn’t get to swing it in college. Being in the AL my entire career, a couple at-bats in interleague.
“But to be able to do it every start . . . be able to do that every game. I’m very grateful for it.’’
The Red Sox clinched the 2018 World Series in Dodger Stadium.
“I’d like to celebrate again here in this jersey, for sure,’’ Betts said.
On Monday, the Red Sox and Dodgers agreed to the revised deal, with Boston receiving outfielder Alex Verdugo along with shortstop prospect Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong. The Red Sox also will send $48 million to the Dodgers to help subsidize the remaining three years and $96 million on Price’s contract.
For Price, it’s a reunion with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Friedman was with the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2000s, when they drafted Price out of Vanderbilt.
“Fortunately the 2006 Devil Rays were so bad that we got the first pick in the 2007 draft, and wisely chose David,’’ Friedman said Wednesday. “I’ve watched him grow and continue to evolve on the mound. Obviously the success he’s had is evident and everybody knows about that, but he was as good of a teammate as I’ve ever seen. Just the impact he has in the clubhouse was as significant as I’ve seen.’’