Red Sox

Mookie Betts reveals the time a Red Sox contract offer nearly blew him away

Mookie Betts reveals the time a Red Sox contract offer nearly blew him away

Mookie Betts seems content to take the Godfather approach to contract negotiations — nothing personal, only business.

But in an interview with WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, he reveals the one time that strategy was sorely put to the test.

Before the 2017 season, the Red Sox came to Betts with a long-term contract extension. Though terms weren't disclosed, only a year later Betts would turn down a reported eight-year, $200 million offer.

Prior to 2017, Betts wasn't even arbitration-eligible, but he was clearly a burgeoning superstar. He had just finished second in the MVP voting to Mike Trout at the age of 23, and the Red Sox made an aggressive offer to keep him long-term.

Betts consulted with his family, who had instilled in him the belief that decisions should be made only when they were divorced from emotion.

"That was a really emotional time because I was like, 'Mom, we've never seen this amount of money,'" Betts told Bradford in Texas. "She was like, 'OK, cool. It's a lot of money. I think we know it's a lot of money. So let's focus on the facts. Let's focus on what is real and we took the emotions out of it.' The first one was definitely the hardest. At the time we had never seen anything like that."

Betts ended up playing that season for $950,000 before earning $10.5 million a year later in arbitration and then winning the MVP award. He avoided arbitration this year by agreeing to a one-year, $20 million contract, and barring an extension this winter, he'll probably play next season for around $30 million.

Though 2019 feels like a down year, Betts has surged since July to post .294-29-79 numbers with 134 runs and a .917 OPS.

The Red Sox face a crossroads decision this winter, since Betts is entering his final year of arbitration. If they don't believe they can sign him, they may have to trade him. Either way, Betts believes he will earn what he deserves.

"It's how I was raised to look at the thing," he said. "As a whole, when it comes to business in general, whether it's buying a building or contract negotiations or whatever it is, you have to take emotions out of it. That's what people forget. Fans and media get caught up in emotions and that's just not how I was raised and that's just not what my point of view with my agents is. We take emotions out of it and we focus on the business part. Of course, I love it here. This is all I know. But you also have to take that emotional side out of it and get to what is actually real."

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Manny Ramirez: Getting busted for PEDs 'made me grow up'

Manny Ramirez: Getting busted for PEDs 'made me grow up'

Manny Ramirez's use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career may have cost him a shot at a Hall of Fame induction, but he doesn't have any regrets.

The former Boston Red Sox slugger opened up about his two failed PED tests during the 18th annual Tradition at TD Garden. He believes his mistakes helped him grow as a person.

"I ask myself ... it was a good thing for me, because it make me grow up," Ramirez said. "Maybe a lot of people didn't get caught, and they doing maybe so many crazy stuff that they not learning from it. So I think everything happens for a reason, and everything is working for the good.

"I'm in a better place that I haven't been, even when I was playing, so I don't regret it because it make me grow up."

Watch the video below, courtesy of WFXT's Tom Leyden:

As for other players who have been caught or suspected of using PEDs, Ramirez still believes one day they'll make their way into the Hall. The 47-year-old likens the situation to that of Pete Rose, who currently is ineligible for Cooperstown due to his ban from the league in 1986.

"It's the same thing, like, with Pete Rose. That's it. Let the guy get in. That's it," Ramirez said. "Everybody makes mistakes. I make mistakes every day. Everybody make it. But we gotta keep moving, so what else can you do?"

Ramirez is one of several former Red Sox to be on the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. The others are Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Billy Wagner, Carlos Pena, and Brad Penny.

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Yankees release former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury

Yankees release former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury

The New York Yankees finally made the decision to move on from former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The 36-year-old hadn't played for the team since 2017 while dealing with a plethora of injuries including oblique, back, hip, and foot maladies.

Ellsbury originally signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees before the 2014 season. Over the course of six years, he played in 520 games for the team and hit .264 with 39 homers before being released on Wednesday.

Red Sox fans will remember Ellsbury for the excellent years he put together in Boston including his second-place finish in the 2011 MVP race and his starting role on the improbable 2013 World Series Champion teams.

Ellsbury also had one of the greatest straight steals of home plate in 2009 against the Yankees. During that season, Ellsbury led the MLB with an absurd 70 steals.

The Yankees' decision to part with Ellsbury came as a part of changes to their 40-man roster. MLB teams had until Wednesday night to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by placing them on the 40-man roster.

The Yankees certainly aren't happy with the return on investment they got with the Ellsbury deal, and the Red Sox actually may have benefitted more from his departure.

As Barstool Sports' Jared Carrabis pointed out on Twitter, they received a compensatory first-round pick for losing Ellsbury that they used on Michael Kopech. Kopech became one of the centerpieces of the Chris Sale trade, a move that helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series.

So too did the postseason performance of Jackie Bradley Jr., the 2018 ALCS MVP who was the replacement for Ellsbury in centerfield in 2014.

Given that Ellsbury hasn't played an MLB game in two years, it's hard to imagine him ending up somewhere else. Nonetheless, we'll keep an eye on the former Red Sox outfield as the MLB hot stove starts to warm up a bit.

TOMASE: Handicapping the four potential outcomes for Mookie Betts>>> 

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