In the midst of a run of extensions around the game — in particular, yesterday’s $360MM Mike Trout agreement — Red Sox star Mookie Betts faced another round of questions about his future in Boston from reporters including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald (links to Twitter). While he again expressed that he’s fond of the organization, Betts left little doubt that he’s not moving off of his price point for his post-arbitration years.
Betts acknowledged having received prior offers from the Red Sox. To this point, they simply haven’t met his understandably lofty self-valuation. It was reported yesterday that the team dangled $200MM in advance of the 2018 season. That was a hefty offer under the circumstances, but Betts has little cause to regret turning it down. He went on to turn in a hugely productive season and take home American League MVP honors, setting himself up for a record-setting run through arbitration and untold riches thereafter.
When asked whether he expects to open the present season without a long-term deal, Betts responded:
“That’s exactly what I expect. Didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent.”
It certainly doesn’t sound as if there’s much cause for optimism for a deal to come together before Betts hits the open market after the 2020 season. While nothing can be ruled out, as the 26-year-old hasn’t indicated that he’s altogether opposed to listening to offers, he’ll evidently demand that the Red Sox put quite a bit more money on the table than they have to this point.
Betts offered another hint about his own views on his value and how he intends to pursue a contract that matches it. While he called some of the recent extensions “great deals” for the players involved, he also noted that “some of them could’ve gotten more.”