On Wednesday afternoon ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news that Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is worth $365 million over the next 12 years making his current contract 13 years and $392 million. The signing bonus will be a record $65 million according to Passan.
Outfielder Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in agreement on a 12-year, $365 million contract extension, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Combined with the one-year, $27 million deal he’s currently under, the total is 13 years and $392 million.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2020
According to Ken Rosenthal, the record-breaking bonus intends to make up for the first two yearly salaries of his deal. This bonus will also protect Betts against any pandemic-related issues or lockouts. There is neither an opt-out or a no-trade clause involved in the deal.
More details on Betts deal, per source: $65M signing bonus, which is not taxable for him as a non-California resident. Bonus helps compensate for relatively low salaries of $17.5M in 2021 and ‘22 and also protects Betts against lingering pandemic issues and potential lockout.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 22, 2020
This is a tough pill to swallow for the Boston Red Sox if they were holding out any hope of re-signing Betts in free agency. NBC Sports Boston analyst Lou Merloni reported that the Red Sox offered a 10-year, $300 million extension when he was with the club. The distance between both sides in negotiations led to him being traded this past winter in exchange for Alex Verdugo and prospects.
Betts led Boston to their World Series title in 2018, winning American League MVP in the process. That year he won the batting title, hitting .346, and he led the league in runs scored and slugging percentage. He has finished top-ten in MVP voting each of the last four seasons winning a Gold Glove in each. Betts is a career .301 hitter who averages 28 homers, 96 RBI, and 26 stolen bases per 162 games.
The Dodgers, who won seven consecutive NL West titles before the addition of Mookie Betts, have a boatload of young talent. 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger and CY Young candidate Walker Buehler will need to be paid in the near future. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw hits free agency after the 2021 season. Just as everyone has been saying for years now, the window is now for LA.
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