Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is the reigning AL MVP, and he was paid that way by agreeing to a one-year, $20 million deal to avoid arbitration, which is a record-setting deal for a player in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Mookie contract agreement is significant because the Red Sox were unable to agree to terms with him in last two offseasons.— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) January 11, 2019
This sets up nicely for Betts moving forward. Not only is this deal significant because the two sides couldn't agree to terms the last two years, but it shows that the Red Sox were willing to get a deal done no matter the cost and that they believe in the man that led them to the World Series. As a result, this sets the stage for healthy contract extension negotiations.
The Red Sox will pay Mookie Betts $20M in 2019. The club and the reigning MVP avoided arbitration; a good sign if you are hoping for an extension that keeps him in Boston after the 2020 season. https://t.co/hQyJ8biC1b— Sports & Sorts (@ShaneAndBriMan) January 11, 2019
The Red Sox are taking care of Betts now, which should help those talks down the road. It might not be until later this year or next offseason, but you can bet Boston is looking to lock up arguably the best all-around player in the game sooner rather than later.
Of course, if they want to make Betts a Red Sox lifer, they better be willing to back up the brinks truck and not try to get a discount. We've been talking about $300-plus million for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Betts is the better, more accomplished player at this point. That number will undoubtedly be going up for the Sox star.