Red Sox

Red Sox

So much for Mookie Betts becoming Major League Baseball's next $400 million man.

The former Boston Red Sox outfielder is set to hit unrestricted free agency after playing the 2020 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and many predicted he'd earn a massive new contract that could approach Mike Trout's record 12-year, $430 million deal.

But those predictions were all made before the coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed the start of the 2020 season and could significantly impact what Betts fetches in free agency.

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During an appearance Wednesday on 670 The Score's "Mully & Haugh Show," The Athletic's Peter Gammons suggested Betts will be "lucky" to earn a deal totaling $250 million in the current climate.

"There are few people that I like better in baseball than Mookie Betts. I thought he was going to make between $350 (million) to $400 million," Gammons said.

"He'd be lucky to get up to $250 (million) in free agency this coming winter if they play (this season). It's just the reality of economics. It's true in almost every business."

MLB teams already have lost significant revenue from almost two months of no games and no ticket sales. Players may have to take pay cuts if MLB can hold a shortened season, and teams likely will lose even more money if games are played in empty stadiums. That means fewer dollars to spend on top talents like Betts in free agency.


Betts losing upwards of $100 million in free agency would be a cruel twist of fate for the superstar outfielder, who reportedly turned down several contract extension offers from the Red Sox while banking on earning a lucrative payday this winter.

Betts was right to bet on himself, too: The 27-year-old is a four-time All-Star and 2018 American League MVP who appeared on track to become one of baseball's richest players.

But the coronavirus pandemic likely will derail Betts' goal, according to Gammons, who added it may be several years until we see teams dole out hefty deals.

"The game has no chance of being restored to where they want it to go until 2023," Gammons said.