Red Sox

MLB Rumors: Mookie Betts close to signing huge extension with Dodgers

Red Sox

Mookie Betts may not need to test the free-agent market, after all.

The star Dodgers outfielder is close to signing a long-term contract extension with Los Angeles that could be worth between $350 and $400 million over 10-plus years, NBC Sports Boston and WEEI analyst Lou Merloni reported Wednesday.

While Betts was expected to command in the $350 to $400 million range in 2021 free agency prior to the coronavirus pandemic, many believed he'd have to take a significant pay cut due to the impact of COVID-19 on major league clubs.

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Yet the Dodgers appear willing to pay up for the 27-year-old outfielder, a lifetime .301 hitter and 2018 American League MVP who was one of the best position players in baseball before the Boston Red Sox traded him to Los Angeles in February.

Such a deal would validate Betts turning down the reported $300 million contract extension the Red Sox offered him last offseason, as his decision to "bet on himself" could make him one of the richest players in baseball.

Betts signing a massive extension obviously would rule out the pipe dream of him returning to Boston in free agency following the shortened 2020 season, so Red Sox fans may have to accept the reality that their erstwhile superstar will become the face of different franchise.

UPDATE (1:40 p.m. ET): USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale confirmed Merloni's report, noting that Betts and the Dodgers could strike a deal before L.A.'s season opener on Thursday night.

 

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports the contract is worth more than $380 million and will keep Betts in L.A. for 13 years.