The Los Angeles Angels reportedly are finalizing a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with superstar outfielder Mike Trout, which would be the largest contract in MLB history in terms of total value.
The contract also is a huge win for other MLB stars poised to cash in over the next few years, and no one stands to benefit more than Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Tuesday that Betts turned down a huge contract extension from the Red Sox after 2017.
Betts rejected an eight-year, $200 million extension proposal following the 2017 season, according to a source. A second source said the Red Sox have made several attempts at a long-term deal with Betts, but that the All-Star has been comfortable with the risks of going a year at a time in exchange for the reward that could come with patience.
Betts certainly made the correct choice, at least so far. Assuming he stays healthy, it's entirely possible his next contract could also be worth $400 million or more. Betts is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2020 season.
The 2018 American League MVP is a five-tool player who generates offense at the plate and plays Gold Glove-caliber defense in the field. He's also just 26 years old, one year younger than Trout.
One of the questions for the Red Sox is how high should they go with Betts in negotiations when other important players on the roster also are due for pay raises in the near future. Red Sox starters Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, as well as shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be free agents after 2019. Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are slated for free agency after the 2020 campaign, with Andrew Benintendi being eligible in 2022.
The Red Sox are not afraid of having one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but re-signing all of these players to fair contracts likely will be difficult. Betts, however, is worth the price more than any other upcoming Red Sox free agent given his immense talent, age and popularity with the fans.
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