Red Sox Rumor: MVP Caliber Outfielder Mookie Betts Shut Down Contract Extension Talks This Offseason According To Reports
The Red Sox made attempts to meet with outfielder Mookie Betts about negotiating a long-term contract extension this winter, but Betts declined, according to a report on FanRag Sports.
According to the report, Betts is comfortable playing on a series of one-year deals before reaching free agency in 2021.
While that doesn’t stop Betts from starting talks with the Red Sox at a later date, for now he seems OK with following the lead of other young stars who have decided to go year-by-year before entering free agency. Teammate Xander Bogaerts is following this course, the big exception in the majors is Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who signed a six-year, $144.5 million deal in 2014.
The benefits of signing yearly tenders before entering the arbitration process are simple: it gets a star talent to free agency as quickly as possible, where a $200 million contract likely awaits. If Betts sign an extension with the Red Sox now, he’d be giving away at least a year or two of free agency, and thus decreasing his earning power.
So far this season Betts is hitting .280 with 11 homers and an .860 OPS. He also has 11 steals and will earn $950,000 this year.