Jackie Bradley Jr.

MLB Rumors: Mookie Betts, Red Sox agree to record $27 million contract

MLB Rumors: Mookie Betts, Red Sox agree to record $27 million contract

Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox have avoided an arbitration hearing.

The All-Star outfielder agreed to a one-year, $27 million contract with the Red Sox on Friday prior to MLB's arbitration deadline, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Friday.

Betts' deal is a new record for an arbitration-eligible player, breaking Nolan Arenado's record $26 million contract with the Colorado Rockies.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The contract still is slightly under projection, though; MLBTradeRumors.com predicted Betts would get $27.7 million on his new deal, while most estimates pegged him in the $27-$30 million range.

Betts' contract does include a nice extra perk, however, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

Boston also agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract with outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to avoid arbitration Friday, per Passan.

To clarify, these deals don't preclude the Red Sox from trading either Betts or Bradley -- who both will become unrestricted free agents in 2021 -- between now and the July 31 MLB trade deadline. 

In fact, finalizing both players' contracts could help Boston get the ball rolling on a potential trade now that their value is set.

Boston has a stated goal of getting under the luxury tax in 2020, and Betts would be the Red Sox' third-highest-paid player behind David Price ($32 million) and Chris Sale ($30 million).

Red Sox arbitration tracker: Which players will Boston come to terms with?

Red Sox arbitration tracker: Which players will Boston come to terms with?

It's early January, which means it's time for the Boston Red Sox to make a decision about their arbitration-eligible players.

MLB teams and players faced a deadline on Friday at noon to submit their contract proposals for the 2020 season.

At the top of Boston's seven-player list is outfielder Mookie Betts, who was projected to earn between $25 and $30 million in 2020 but is at the center of intense trade speculation entering the final year of his contract. He ended up agreeing to terms on a one-year, $27 million deal.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

While all eyes are on Betts, we're also tracking Boston's other six arbitration-eligible players. Below is the full list, which initially includes each player's projected 2020 salary per MLBTradeRumors.com but will be updated throughout the day as news comes in.

-- OF Mookie Betts (projected salary: $27.7 million) SETTLED: $27 million
-- OF Jackie Bradley Jr. (projected salary: $11 million) SETTLED: $11 million
-- SP Eduardo Rodriguez (projected salary: $9.5 million)  Team submitted $8.3 million, Rodriguez asked for $8.975 million
-- OF Andrew Benintendi (projected salary: $4.9 million)  Team submitted $3.4 million, Benintendi asked for $4.15 million
-- RP Brandon Workman (projected salary: $3.4M) SETTLED: $3.5 million
-- RP Matt Barnes (projected salary: $3.0 million) SETTLED: $3.1 million
-- RP Heath Hembree (projected salary: $1.6 million) SETTLED: $1.612 million

MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays have 'explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr.'

MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays have 'explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr.'

The Boston Red Sox are a team to watch in the MLB trade market with a few high-priced veterans that could be moved to shed payroll.

Starting pitcher David Price, who makes $32 million annually and is signed through 2022, is an option. Another one is outfielder Jackie Bradley, who could make more than $10 million in 2020 before being eligible for unrestricted free agency entering the 2021 season.

Which teams would be willing to acquire one (or perhaps both) of these players? One potential destination is the Toronto Blue Jays, per Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi.

"On the trade front, they’ve explored taking on David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr., from the Boston Red Sox and J.A. Happ from the New York Yankees, but the cost in both dollars and prospect capital remains too high."

Multiple teams reportedly have shown interest in trading for Price, and one team that talked to the Red Sox about the veteran left-hander is the San Diego Padres.

Price does have a history with the Blue Jays, so it's not too surprising they would at least explore a reunion. He was traded from the Detroit Tigers to Toronto before the 2015 trade deadline. Price helped the Blue Jays reach the American League Championship Series that season, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals. He left the Jays that winter to sign with the Red Sox in free agency.

The Red Sox reportedly are "actively" trying to trade Bradley. The 29-year-old batted .225 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI in 2019. He's one of the best defensive players in all of baseball.

The Blue Jays need upgrades at several positions up-and-down their roster after three consecutive fourth-place finishes in the American League East. Toronto has not made the postseason since 2016 when it lost to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS.

Five potential trade destinations for David Price>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.