Dodgers: Four reasons Mookie Betts will re-sign with Los Angeles

Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Mookie Betts
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 12: Manager Dave Roberts #30 and general manager Andrew Friedman of the Los Angeles Dodgers answers questions from the media during a news conference at Dodger Stadium on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

3) Who else is going to pay him?

What put the Dodgers in a unique position–as a team stacked with talent who could still go out and acquire a player like Mookie Betts in a trade–is their relative position to the luxury tax threshold.

The Red Sox were looking to avoid luxury tax payments in the future, while the Dodgers have built their roster in a way that they can afford to add an expensive outfielder without worrying about paying an extra penalty on his future salary.

The Dodgers only have an estimated $117 million on the books in luxury tax payroll for next season, according to FanGraphs. They are getting $16 million back from the Red Sox to help offset David Price‘s contract. And they have $26 million coming off the books from Justin Turner and Blake Treinen becoming free agents.

While the luxury tax threshold could change based on the economic conditions facing MLB amid the coronavirus pandemic, using face value numbers, the Dodgers have plenty of space below the $210 million threshold in 2021 to re-sign Betts to a massive contract.

Other big spenders, such as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels, are more limited in their projected luxury tax space next season. While those teams have some wiggle room, and depending on how they structure their roster, could make an offer for Betts without paying a tax penalty, it’s a limited group of teams who can make an offer to match what the Dodgers would be expected to propose.