The Sports Report: Dodgers get Mookie Betts and David Price. We mean it this time.

Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Remember last week, when the Dodgers traded Alex Verdugo to Boston, Kenta Maeda to Minnesota and Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Angels for Mookie Betts, David Price and Luis Rengifo? Forget all of that.

You see, the Dodgers were supposed to get Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota for Maeda, then send Graterol to Boston as part of the Betts deal. Only Boston didn’t like the medical reports on Graterol, and started dragging their feet.

After a week of further discussion, here’s the new deal: Verdugo, Jeter Downs and Connor Wong to Boston for Betts, Price and some money to cover the cost of what is left on Price’s contract. In addition, the Dodgers sent Maeda to Minnesota for Graterol, and kept Graterol. The trade of Pederson and Stripling to the Angels for Rengifo has apparently been canceled.

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The trade’s delayed completion registers as a loud, if strange, finale to the offseason for the Dodgers after they whiffed in previous attempts to land an elite player.

They managed to acquire Betts, perhaps the best player in baseball not named Mike Trout, without giving up one of their top prospects, but relinquished more than in the initial deal.

Verdugo was the centerpiece all along. A former top prospect, the 23-year-old outfielder enjoyed some success in his first full major-league season in 2019, batting .294 with 12 home runs and 22 doubles while providing plus defense at all three outfield positions. But he arrived in Los Angeles with makeup concerns and ended the season on the injured list with oblique and back injuries.


Downs, 21, was traded to the Dodgers in the deal that sent veteran outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Cincinnati after the 2018 season. Ranked the organization’s sixth-best prospect by Baseball America, Downs batted .269 with 19 home runs, 23 steals, and an .862 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He closed the season with a 12-game stint at double-A Tulsa, where he hit .333 with five homers and 11 RBIs.

The 23-year-old Wong is regarded as the Dodgers’ fourth-best catching prospect behind Will Smith, Keibert Ruiz, and Diego Cartaya, though he’s also played other positions. He batted .281 with 24 home runs an .878 OPS in 11 games between Rancho Cucamonga and Tulsa last season.

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Betts is a bona fide superstar in his prime. A four-time All-star, he won the 2018 American League MVP after batting .346 with a 1.078 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and 32 home runs as the Red Sox toppled the Dodgers to win the World Series. Last season, he hit .295 with 29 home runs and a .915 OPS. His 17.0 WAR over the last two years is second only to Trout’s 18.4.


In a wire-to-wire 133-92 blowout victory, the Clippers dealt the Cavaliers their 12th consecutive defeat at Rocket Mortgage Field House in ignominious fashion, the largest margin of defeat at home in Cavaliers history. Los Angeles appeared to be a team entirely different from the one that committed what coach Doc Rivers called an “awful effort” in a blowout loss in Minnesota only 24 hours earlier.

They were crisp from the start, as center Ivica Zubac had two baskets, a blocked shot, an assist and a screen that freed Paul George for a mid-range jump shot all within the first three minutes. George took over from there, scoring 19 points in his first 14 minutes before finishing with 22 in 31, often on isolations or step-backs.

Lou Williams scored a team-high 25 points.

Marcus Morris scored 10 points with four rebounds, three steals, two assists and one turnover in his debut for the Clippers (37-16). Though he’d made 44% of his three-pointers with New York before the trade, he missed all four of his attempts Sunday. The bulk of his production came on four mid-range jumpers. They included his first basket as a Clipper, which came at the right elbow of the free-throw line, after using a screen from Zubac.

“Just because you change uniforms you shouldn’t change, so [Morris] will be pretty good for us,” Rivers said before tipoff. “We like all the things he can do. You know it’s tough for him, he doesn’t know all of the stuff, but he’ll figure it out.”



Free-agent point guard Darren Collison, whom the Lakers had hoped to sign to a contract after he visited them last week, has decided to stay retired, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Collison has told friends that he wants to wait until the summer before deciding whether he will return to the NBA. He also has told friends that he wants to spend more time with family.

The Lakers, who did not make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline, and Clippers were two teams with which Collison had mutual interest if he decided to make a return.


Michaela Onyenwere hit a go-ahead jumper in the paint with 25.7 seconds left and scored seven of her 22 points in overtime, and No. 10 UCLA held off California for a hard-fought 74-70 win Sunday to complete an impressive Bay Area sweep.

Jaelyn Brown’s three-pointer for Cal tied it with 1:37 left and Charisma Osborne missed from the top of the arc before CJ West grabbed another timely rebound for the Golden Bears. But Cal couldn’t capitalize and a jump ball went UCLA’s way with 17.6 seconds left.

Osborne scored 17 points, Natalie Chou added 12 and Japreece Dean dished out seven assists for the Bruins (21-2, 10-2 Pac-12), who beat Cal for the sixth straight time. Coming off a win Friday night at No. 6 Stanford, UCLA won its third straight since a loss at Arizona on Jan. 31.


Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko and Greg McKegg scored, and the New York Rangers beat the Kings 4-1.


Jonathan Quick made 37 saves for the Kings, who have dropped five in a row.

Los Angeles (19-33-5) played its third game in the New York area in four nights. It began a four-game trip with a 4-2 loss at Washington, followed by a 5-3 defeat against the Islanders in Brooklyn on Thursday. The Kings were then blanked 3-0 by the Devils on Saturday.

The Kings have the worst record in the Western Conference and played their league-high 33rd road game. Los Angeles has only eight wins away from Staples Center.


Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots, including all 15 he faced in the third period, and the Ducks held off the Buffalo Sabres for a 3-2 win Sunday.

Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Getzlaf and Nick Ritchie staked Anaheim to a 3-0 lead by scoring over a 5:45 span in the first period, and the Ducks closed out a 3-0-2 road trip. The five-game point streak is Anaheim’s longest since winning five straight games from Nov. 27 to Dec. 5, 2018.


Trainer Bob Baffert, no stranger to horse racing’s biggest stage, again finds himself near the top of the Kentucky Derby discussion when Nadal took an impressive victory in the Grade 2 $200,000 San Vicente Stakes on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Immediately afterward on TVG, Baffert did the near unthinkable and referenced a Kentucky Derby winner and a Triple Crown winner when discussing Nadal.


“Silver Charm, he did it like that in the San Vicente,” Baffert said in comparison to the 1997 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, before mentioning the 2018 Triple Crown winner. “We’re basically running him into shape like I did with Justify. It’s a good race for him.”

Nadal broke near the lead and never looked uncomfortable under a confident ride from Joel Rosario. Ginobili poked his head in front during the stretch run but Nadal proved the best.


Nick Taylor had more trouble with the wind than he did with Phil Mickelson. The Canadian managed both just fine Sunday and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his second career victory.

With the gallery eager to see Mickelson add a record sixth victory at Pebble Beach, Taylor showed plenty of moxie in building a five-shot lead at the turn and then holding on when 40 mph gusts blasted the Monterey Peninsula.

He closed with a 2-under 70 for a four-shot victory over Kevin Streelman (68). Mickelson, who closed within two shots with four holes to play, shot 74 and finished alone in third. He has won, been runner-up twice and finished third in his last four starts at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Taylor won in his fourth start as a PGA Tour rookie at the 2015 Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, at the time an opposite-field event that didn’t feature any of the top players.


Doug Kalitta earned his third straight top fuel win, going 3.698 seconds at 330.23 mph in his dragster at the NHRA Winternationals.


The victory was the 48th of Kalitta’s career. He defeated Brandon Welch, Justin Ashley and Brittany Force to advance to the finals, where he beat Austin Prock during Sunday’s final round.

“We’ve got a great group of guys,” Kalitta said. “I was looking at the win light and I was happy seeing that yellow light. Austin is a good driver and he’s killer on the tree. It’s going to be an interesting year with all these younger guys that are hungrier than heck.”

Jack Beckman (funny car) and Jeg Coughlin (pro stock) also won during the first race of this year’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.


All times Pacific.

Phoenix at Lakers, 7:30 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN


1893: Tennis player Bill Tilden (d. 1953)

1950: Swimmer Mark Spitz

1955: Golfer Greg Norman

1962: Boxer Bobby Czyz

1963: Baseball player Kenny Dykstra

1966: Football player Daryl Johnston

1974: Football player Ty Law

1975: Basketball player Tina Thompson

1975: Former Dodger Hiroki Kuroda

1980: Former Dodger César Izturis

1982: Sprinter Justin Gatlin


Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics. Watch it here.

Until next time...

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