Almost two weeks have passed since the 2018 Boston Red Sox were finally crowned champions of the World. We now have to begin to look towards the future, both short term and long term. Short term, Mookie Betts isn’t going anywhere. His entry level contract runs through 2020, making him eligible to roam free following that season. At that time Betts will be looking ahead to his age 28 season. Which most see as or close to, the prime of one’s athletic ability.
He already has two MVP caliber level seasons in the books. So now is the time to lock up Mookie Betts with an offer he cannot deny. A lot has been made over the past couple winters that Betts isn’t overly eager to discuss a long term deal. The long term is what this Red Sox front office needs to be looking at. Making sure Mookie is here for the long haul, should be close to priority number one this winter.
Many people point to the Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera as reasons to avoid long term deals in today’s day and age. I would be quick to point to you that both of those players were over 30 when they took those contracts. Mookie Betts just turned 26, only 26! It seems obvious to me that if Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have earned 8+ year contracts, than so has Betts. Mookie’s resumé is just as strong, if not stronger than both members of this year’s illustrious free agent class. So why is a ten year deal out of the question for Betts? It shouldn’t be.
Ten years keeps Betts locked up through his age 36 season. This makes him happy as he’s set for basically his entire career, on one, big contract. The Red Sox also will enjoy the benefit of the first six years of that deal being MVP-type seasons from Betts. After that, his defense and his brilliant plate approach will keep him productive. Keeping him as a contributing veteran in the last few years of that deal.
Sox fans may be weary of shelling out a big deal, just because of the injury woes of Dustin Pedroia. If I’m ownership however, I know that Mookie may very likely want to test the waters come free agency time. I would think a ten year deal might change his mind.
This topic is a little more wide open than the last. He’s going to get somewhere between eight and eleven years, that’s just a fact. When it comes to the money, and how much per year Betts is going to get, that is up for debate. Some would say the 300-350 million range is fair which is understandable. That is most likely what the Red Sox front office would be pursuing. However, once Harper and Machado secure their bag and get 300+ million, it’s going to inflate what Mookie Betts (and his agent) may think of him. If those guys can get that much, couldn’t Betts fetch 400+?
If I’m GM Dave Dombrowski, I’m starting at 400 million (at 40 a year) and I’m even willing to negotiate. Mookie was such a special player this year, and he’s been showing this culminating over the past few years. Not only have his regular season statistics been great. He’s one of the main guys in that locker room and among the fan favorites on this team. He was clutch in the playoffs and even had a home run to seal the clinching game.
With a new daughter having just arrived, I feel Betts could be allured by the offer of a big, juicy contract. Now is the time to sign Mookie before his value goes up even more. Had the Sox done this after 2016, they probably could’ve locked him up for 200 million or even less over a ten year span. So unless they want to keep waiting to pay more money, they better get on the phone this winter and lock up Mookie Betts.