Recently it was reported that Mookie Betts and the Red Sox weren’t able to agree on an arbitration deal. Right away I thought, oh boy.
Mookie wanted $10.5 million and the Red Sox were willing to pay him $7.5 million. Consequently a hearing took place, and that’s never good news. I thought it was all unnecessary and that the Red Sox should have just gave him the money. He’s clearly the best hitter and all around player on your team. Having a dispute with him and his agent this early is never good news.
Mookie won the arbitration case and will get his $10.5 million for 2018, which is the most ever awarded to a first year arbitration eligible player through a hearing. So what does this mean going forward?
It means that the Red Sox front office is headed towards what they’ve done in the past. They are trying to underrate or underpay players that clearly deserves more. Because when you do that, it never usually ends well. A more recent example of this happening is with Jon Lester. The Sox offered him a four year, $70 million contract and later offered a six year, $135 million offer. However, it wasn’t enough and the Cubs got him on a six year $155 million offer.
Stats Don’t Lie
Talk about any player on the Red Sox you want, Jackie Bradley Jr, Xander Bogearts, Rafael Devers, the big favorite Andrew Benintendi. There is nobody as good as a player on this team as Mookie Betts. I loved this guy the moment I saw him. I saw his first hit in Yankee Stadium. His first homer. I was hooked. This man is one of a kind. His wrists are like no other, the way he pulls inside pitches are incredible. He reminds me so much of Andrew McCutchen, another player I liked even before I knew about Mookie. And this is all just eye test stuff.
Right away I knew this man can ball. In 2014 he hit .291, had an on base of .368 in half a year. His first full year in 2015 he hit .291, a OBP of .341, and a slugging of .479. Follow that up with a runner-up for MVP year in 2016 as he hit .318, an on base of .363, and a slugging of .534. In 2017 he had a “down year” as he had a .264/.344/.459 slash line.
He still has some to prove, no doubt. I do think 2018 will be an outliar as far as his power goes. However he is younger than the Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge. And I haven’t even mentioned his incredible defense yet. This man is no doubt Boston’s best player. A valuable player. He cannot end up like some of the others this front office has screwed over. He is someone you want to have around for a very long time, and the Red Sox have to realize this.
Cover photo courtesy of isportsweb.com.