Don’t worry Dodgers fans, Mookie Betts might be here for a long time.
As the 2020 season is set to kick off on Thursday, a report is circulating that superstar Mookie Betts is close to a ten-year extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to WEEI’s Lou Merloni, the extension would be for 10-years at “BIG $$” between $350-400 million dollars. Merloni was the same reporter who reported this past offseason that Betts had countered the Red Sox original 10-year, $300 million offer with a 12-year, $420 million asking price. Once it appeared Betts was unwilling to sign before hitting free agency, he was traded out of Boston.
Progress toward a contract extension was later confirmed by several MLB insiders, including Jeff Passan of ESPN, who described the negotiations between the Dodgers and Betts as “while the language of the deal is not completed, the expectation is that Betts will be signing a massive deal with the Dodgers in the coming days.”
This news comes as music to Dodger fans ears. Many have spent the past several months worried whether the 2018 American League MVP would ever suit up in a Dodgers uniform. He is set to become a free agent in the offseason.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season has been delayed for four months, and at times, it appeared no games would be played at all. The team is now ready to start the season against the Giants on Thursday, with Betts in uniform, and perhaps marking the beginning of what could be a very long tenure with the team.
MLB insiders have wondered whether Betts’ decision to refuse a contract extension with the Red Sox, which led to his trade to Los Angeles, could have been a costly mistake given the new market dynamics created by the virus. Peter Gammons speculated the decision could have cost Betts as much as $150 million.
However, if the WEEI report is accurate, it would appear the star outfielder has secured the mega-contract he was originally hoping to get. Betts recently said he had no regrets about turning down the Red Sox’ contract extension offer. Perhaps we know why.
The Dodgers traded a young outfielder in Alex Verdugo, along with two prospects (Jeter Downs and Connor Wong) to acquire both Betts and starter David Price from Boston. Betts is set to become a free agent after this season. And Price, while he has two years remaining on his contract, has opted out of playing in 2020 due to health concerns.
It would have been extremely unfortunate for the Dodgers if they had pulled off the trade with Boston and ended up without Betts in the long-run and one year short on Price. However, it appears the team could have put themselves in position to lock up Betts before he even hits the open market.
This is a breaking story. Please check back for more details.