Kevin Youkilis

Kevin Youkilis explains Mookie Betts' possible mindset about Dodgers extension

Kevin Youkilis explains Mookie Betts' possible mindset about Dodgers extension

Mookie Betts reportedly is close to getting paid, and the Boston Red Sox won't be writing his checks.

Betts is nearing a massive contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers that could pay him between $350 and $400 million over 10-plus years, according to NBC Sports Boston and WEEI's Lou Merloni(Update: ESPN's Jeff Passan reports Betts has agreed to a 12-year, $365 million extension.) 

That'd be a tough pill to swallow for Red Sox fans after the superstar outfielder turned down a reported $300 million offer from Boston prior to the 2019 season. So, why would Betts decline to re-up with his hometown team only to potentially land a similar deal from a club on another coast?

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Former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis joined The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday to offer his insight into why L.A. may appeal to Betts.

"Two years back, he was offered a very lucrative deal, somewhere (near) that number," Youkilis said. " ... He was offered a long-term deal (by the Red Sox) that had very high value to him, and I think he was going to take his chances (in free agency).

"Now, he might be taking a step back knowing that there's probably not a lot of suitors that can do that. And what better than to go with the Dodgers, who have tons of money and, let's be honest, even if you didn't get that number you hit, you can make that money off the field in Hollywood any day of the week."

Betts reportedly countered Boston's $300 million offer with a 12-year, $420 million proposal, which in a pre-COVID world may have been a possibility for the 2018 American League MVP. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every team's bottom line, however, and Youkilis believes Betts could have been wary of testing free agency in 2021 knowing he may have to take a pay cut.

Youkilis raises another good point: Los Angeles is one of the best places for Betts to get paid. In addition to being the second-most valuable team in baseball (per Forbes), the Dodgers also play in a market where the 27-year-old can be a star and earn considerable cash in endorsement deals.

Betts won't exactly be selling his soul to play for a bottom-dweller, either: The Dodgers have reached two of the last three World Series and are the current favorite to win the 2020 championship.

The Red Sox perhaps could have raised their offer to Betts, but if the four-time All-Star wants to truly maximize his on-field success and off-field worth, it's hard to find a better fit than L.A.

Ranking the Top 10 biggest brawls in Red Sox history

Ranking the Top 10 biggest brawls in Red Sox history

The 2020 MLB season is already going to look different.

Teams will only play 60 games instead of 162. There likely won't be any fans in the stands. The National League will use a DH. Extra innings will start with a runner on second base.

But thanks to the realities of the coronavirus and the need to stay socially distanced, we're unlikely to see one staple of the baseball season: bench-clearing brawls.

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Tempers often rise along with the temperatures, and when the bad blood boils and pitches start flying high and tight (or sometimes behind) batters, teams mix it up and start throwing punches.

That doesn't mean we can't look back at some of our favorites, however. The Red Sox have been no strangers to fisticuffs over the years, from Billy Martin jumping Jimmy Piersall in a tunnel before a game in 1952 to Machine Gun Joe Kelly beckoning Tyler Austin to join him on the mound in 2018.

This list was originally going to be top five, but there were too many memorable options and no shortage of worthy candidates the ended up on the cutting room floor -- David Ortiz vs. the Orioles' Kevin Gregg was a good one, for instance. So enjoy this list and don't be surprised when a number of entries are accompanied by a jolt of adrenaline.

Click here for the gallery of the Top 10 Red Sox brawls of all-time.

MLB Draft: Best players taken by Red Sox in each round

MLB Draft: Best players taken by Red Sox in each round

The MLB draft starts Wednesday tonight, and unless you read a lot of Baseball America, you probably haven't heard of the odds-on No. 1 pick, Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson.

We like to refer to drafts as crapshoots, but nowhere is that more true than baseball.

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The Red Sox have selected thousands of players over the years, and it's shocking how few of them have blossomed into stars. Peruse the first 20 rounds of their June drafts, and naming the best player at each spot is a surprising exercise in scarcity. The first round is not as deep as you'd think, the third round is pathetic, and the fifth is relatively star-studded.

So who are the top players in each round? Read on to find out. And to be clear, we're talking the traditional June draft, which dates to 1965. The old January draft yielded players like Carlton Fisk, Curt Schilling, and Ellis Burks, but it ceased to exist in 1986. The same goes for the various secondary drafts of yore.

Click here for the Red Sox's best draft picks in each round of the MLB Draft.