Star outfielder Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are approaching a massive long-term contract extension that would prevent the former American League MVP from reaching free agency this winter, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
The deal, which could be reached as early as Wednesday, would keep Betts in Los Angeles for at least a decade, sources told ESPN.
The Dodgers acquired the Betts, 27, from the Boston Red Sox in a successful trade over the winter, abandoning outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop prospect Jeter Downs with a guarantee of only one year – and hope he would consider re-signing before entering the free market.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Betts was expected to receive a deal worth at least $ 300 million. Speculation that the game’s uncertain financial future will cloud Betts’ windfall will not prove to be true.
Betts is considered one of baseball’s best all-rounders – an elite hitter with power, speed and four golden gloves in right field. He capped his championship-winning 2018 season with an MVP award and followed last year by reaching .295 / .391 / .524.
The Dodgers, with an unmatched young nucleus and payroll flexibility to match, were the perfect destination for him. The team currently have no financial commitments beyond the 2022 season, although reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger becomes a free agency after 2023 and frontline starter Walker Buehler after the 2024 season. .
Among the Betts, Bellinger, Buehler, shortstop Corey Seager, second baseman Gavin Lux, wide receiver Will Smith and pitcher Dustin May, the Dodgers are poised to maintain their position as one of the teams. The game’s elite. They have won seven straight NL West titles and lost two World Series to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Betts Red Sox in 2018.
In Boston, Betts went from a fifth-round pick taken as a second baseman at a Nashville high school to a star who transitioned to the field in his third season and was second in the MVP race. By this time, Bettts had congratulated his teammates and fans, who began to love the 5ft 9in, 180lb spark plug for his majestic runs on the Green Monster and unrivaled patrols. in the delicate outer field of Fenway Park.
His profession drew significant criticism in Boston, where fans lamented the Red Sox’s reluctance to respond to Betts’ demands for a long-term contract and lamented the loss of the team’s best home player since Carl Yastrzemski. While Verdugo and Downs are expected to play a big role in retooling the Red Sox, Betts is on a Hall of Fame track – and could now spend the majority of his career in Los Angeles.
While the Dodgers are among the teams that have been hit hardest by the pandemic – they attract the most fans to baseball each year – that hasn’t stopped them from locking up Betts. At WEEI’s suggestion that a long-term deal with the Dodgers was imminent, players in the game were hoping it was a sign that free will might not be as dark a landscape as it was assumed.
Maybe that turns out to be true, although Betts is a rare talent that will soon occupy a rare company. Only Mike Trout ($ 426.5 million), Bryce Harper ($ 330 million), Giancarlo Stanton ($ 325 million), Gerrit Cole ($ 324 million) and Manny Machado ($ 300 million) crossed the contract threshold of $ 300 million. When his deal is done, Betts are expected to join them.