Mookie Betts would like to set the record straight.
Remember earlier this week when the reigning American League MVP said he doesn't expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox? ("I don’t expect anything to happen till I’m a free agent," were his exact words.)
Well, that doesn't mean he's slamming the door shut.
"I wouldn’t say that," Betts said Thursday when asked if he's ruled out signing an extension in Boston before he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season, via The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.
“I wouldn’t say, ‘Nope, I’m just not going to sign a deal.’ That would be a lie. But there’s a value that’s there. I think I’m going to stick to my guns on the value. It’s not necessarily not signing a deal."
Betts' point? He just wants to earn what he thinks he deserves. If the Red Sox offer the star outfielder his desire contract via an extension, he'd probably take it.
"I love it here,” Betts added. "I’d love to be here. I love my teammates, the front office, coaches, everybody. I couldn’t ask for a better organization to be a part of. But at the end of the day, you have to be true to yourself. You don’t want to sell yourself short."
If Betts seeks full value, though, recent history suggests he'll find it on the free agent market. Mike Trout just signed a massive extension with the Los Angeles Angels worth $35.8 million annually, and with Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello all set to hit free agency after this season, Boston isn't really in a position to commit that much cash to Betts right now.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski even said as much Thursday, insisting the Red Sox won't be negotiating any extensions once the 2019 season starts.
But the Sox still could come back to Betts with an offer next offseason ahead of the final year on his deal. And it sounds like he'd at least be willing to listen.
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