BOSTON — Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Friday afternoon that the team and star right fielder Mookie Betts are okay after an arbitration hearing earlier this week, which Betts won.
“Well, I think our relationship with him is fine,” Dombrowski said at the Hotel Commonwealth before participating in a charity luncheon to benefit the Foundation to be Named Later. “I think it would have been either way. I called him and texted him, we missed calls but texted back and forth. [Assistant general manager] Brian O’Halloran spoke to him. Mookie’s fine, he understands the process. So we have a good relationship.”
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The Red Sox filed for a $7.5 million salary in 2018 for Betts while he asked for $10.5 million. An arbitration panel ruled in Betts’ favor, giving him the highest ever award given out by a panel to a first-year arbitration-eligible player.
“He’s a player that we love a great deal and want to keep part of the organization for years to come,” Dombrowski said. “You wouldn’t go into it [a hearing] if you didn’t think your position is the right one, that you would win the case. But I can’t also tell you that you’re surprised or shocked that you lose, because I still think arbitration is one [area] that you just never know how it’s going to go. … There’s still a lot of chance when you let somebody else decide those numbers for you."
Dombrowski was part of a panel at the Business of Baseball Champions lunch, which also included manager Alex Cora, Red Sox executive Raquel Ferreira, Peter Gammons, Bernie Williams and Bronson Arroyo.