ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported this morning that the Los Angeles Dodgers and star outfielder Mookie Betts are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to land Betts anywhere between $350-$400 million that would pay the MVP around the same AAV as crosstown rival, Mike Trout.
This report comes as a bit of a surprise considering Betts continued to harp on the need to test free agency. Mookie did, however, express his unhappiness with the Boston Red Sox’ offer last March that led to the trade to LA.
“It’s okay for two sides to disagree. That's perfectly fine,” he said at the time.
He would go on to express that he wouldn’t sell himself short. Rightfully so.
“I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold and all those types of things,” Betts said. “But it definitely doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value.”
Mookie Betts was seemingly signaling the fans of Boston that the Red Sox’ offer was simply not good enough. Considering the seven-year journey for players to finally hit free agency, Betts doesn’t owe Boston (or any other franchise) a discount.
Betts is worth every penny he asks for and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to the point where they traded a promising Alex Verdugo and young up and coming prospect Jeter Downs. The Boston Red Sox spent great player money on good players, instead of taking care of your great players, first.
Bad Business. Also, not a problem Mookie Betts should have to deal with.
Betts will now likely be slotted in at lead-off standing side by side with the reigning MVP, Cody Bellinger. For Dodgers fans, this likely means a stranglehold on the NL West, but the Dodgers’ front office hopes this move propels them to a World Series title for the first time since 1988.
California Taxes are tough to swallow, but a $400 million contract looks like it might do the trick.