Mookie Betts

Projected arbitration salaries for eligible Red Sox players

Projected arbitration salaries for eligible Red Sox players

A busy offseason awaits for the Boston Red Sox. Will they trade Mookie Betts? Will J.D. Martinez opt-out of his current deal? How will they go about cutting payroll?

One of their many obstacles will be negotiating with arbitration-eligible players, most notably Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and Eduardo Rodriguez. Boston avoided going to any arbitration hearings last winter, but might not be as fortunate this time around.

As for what each of these players could sign for in arbitration, MLBTradeRumors.com uses a model to accurately predict arbitration salaries and on Wednesday unveiled their projected dollar amounts for each eligible player.

Here's what they projected for the Red Sox:

- Jackie Bradley Jr. – $11MM
- Sandy Leon – $2.8MM
- Chris Owings – $3.0MM
- Mookie Betts – $27.7MM
- Brandon Workman – $3.4MM
- Steven Wright – $1.5MM
- Eduardo Rodriguez – $9.5MM
- Matt Barnes – $3.0MM
- Heath Hembree – $1.6MM
- Andrew Benintendi – $4.9MM
- Marco Hernandez – $700K
- Gorkys Hernandez – $1.0MM

The obvious standout here is Betts, who MLB Trade Rumors projects will make a whopping $27.7 million in arbitration. Betts and the Red Sox avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing on a $20 million contract for 2019.

Betts' teammate, J.D. Martinez, recently told NBC Sports Boston there's a belief within the Sox clubhouse that the organization won't be able to afford the 2018 American League MVP. Given that Boston is determined to shed payroll and Betts is set to make more than $30 million on the open market in 2020 if the two sides can't come to terms on an extension, that doesn't come as a huge surprise.

It was a tumultuous 2019 campaign for the Red Sox, and with so much uncertainty heading into the offseason, it doesn't look as though things will get easier any time soon.

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Red Sox' birthday tweet to Mookie Betts got predictably skewered

Red Sox' birthday tweet to Mookie Betts got predictably skewered

The Boston Red Sox want Mookie Betts around for the long haul. Or do they?

The Red Sox raised some doubts over the weekend when Twitter users noticed the All-Star outfielder had been removed from the season-ticket section of the team's website.

Considering Betts is entering his final year of arbitration and will demand a massive contract in 2020, now would be the time for Boston trade Betts, and many wondered if this subtle change was a sign that the Red Sox were ready to move on from the former American League MVP.

Then Monday came, and with it an effusive tweet from the Red Sox wishing Betts a happy 27th birthday.

A team wishing its (still-employed) player a happy birthday on Twitter obviously is standard practice. But the trade winds around Betts have been picking up recently, and Twitter users couldn't resist piling on.

If the Red Sox trade Betts, you heard it from these random Twitterers first.

Red Sox fans also used the tweet to suggest a certain birthday present the team could give its star player.

That contract could run the Red Sox $35 million per year, which would be a huge squeeze on their already-bloated payroll. So, whether Betts is still a Red Sox when 28 rolls around is anyone's guess.

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Mookie Betts removed from Red Sox season ticket web page

Mookie Betts removed from Red Sox season ticket web page

Are the Red Sox sending a not-so-subtle hint about Mookie Betts' future in Boston to prospective season ticket holders?

When you visit the portion of the team website seeking new season-ticket buyers, the illustration on the web page shows Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Sale.

Barstool Sports' Jared Carrabis pointed out earlier this week that Betts had been removed from the illustration. The Red Sox All-Star right fielder and 2018 AL MVP, the subject of much trade speculation as the team prepares to shed payroll this offseason, actually appeared on the page in mid-August. By last week, Eduardo Rodriguez had replaced him. The current graphic has Sale on the left.  

Just like the others pictured on the page, Betts isn't a free agent...yet. Bogaerts and Sale have signed long-term extensions and the Sox are reportedly ready to talk about an extension with Devers. Betts? He'll likely receive more than $30 million for the 2020 season in arbitration then command a long-term deal of $300 million or more when he tests the free-agent market after next season.

That kind of financial commitment due the soon-to-be-27-year-old (happy birthday on Monday, Mookie) - and Red Sox ownership's admission that their goal is to get under the $208 million luxury-tax threshold - has led many to believe that Betts will be traded this winter.

A report even emerged this week of what the Red Sox would be seeking in a Betts trade. 

Red Sox team chairman Tom Werner said last week the team remains hopeful of keeping Betts. Still, with his teammates assuming he'll be gone before next season begins, the Sox appear to be reluctant to promote a player to season-ticket holders who'll be in another uniform.

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