The Mookie saga has been going on for over a year now. Ever since the last offseason when it seemed like every MLB superstar was signing a fat contract pre-free agency, we've been talking about when and if Mookie will re-sign in Boston. There's been a lot of speculation about what type of contract Betts will be looking for, and ultimately get. Of course, that also goes with what the Red Sox are willing to offer him.
In my humble opinion, I think Betts is worth $400 million over 12 years. It's been reported that he's asking $420 million over 12 which would put him at an average annual salary of $35 million a year. That's a tough ask when Mike Trout, the game's best player, takes home an average of $35 million a year. Betts is great, but he isn't Trout. The other issue is the fact that the Red Sox are way off base with what they are offering him. In fact, about $100 million separates the two sides as Boston wants to only sign on for $300 million over 10 years. I know "only" sounds funny but in this market, that's asking for Betts at a hometown discount.
Is there going to be an advantage to being the organization that drafted Betts? The one that gave him a shot and allowed him to become the face of one of the most famous organizations in sports? Nope. At least to this point, there hasn't been any inclination that Mookie would take less to stay with the Sox. In fact, some question whether he's even negotiating in good faith and wants to be here. There have been rumblings of his desire to get out of the fishbowl of Boston and play in a more relaxed environment like Los Angeles, San Diego or Atlanta.
So should the Sox rip the band-aid off and deal their biggest homegrown star in decades? No, sorry. Not in my opinion. It'll be a gigantic mistake to trade Mookie rather than just pony up the money to make the deal. I'm sick of seeing people saying Betts is being greedy or doesn't want to be in Boston just because he wants to be paid what he deserves. Any of us would do the same in his position. If it means going to free agency and walking, then so be it. You have one shot to sign this big contract and you better make sure you get at least fair value.
The one caveat to all of this is if Mookie has actually said to the Red Sox that he will not sign back with us under any circumstances because he just wants to move on. I doubt that's happened but yes, at that point I obviously would want the team to act swiftly and send him out for the biggest haul we could get. I just don't think that's the reality. The Sox are going to act like they are making every effort to keep him and when they deal him in the next three days they will leak info about his unwillingness to continue here and smear him. It's just the way they do business.
I'll have a lot more to say when this trade does, in fact, go down but for right now, everything is NOT awesome. The team is coming off a 3rd place finish, the Yankees got better, we have no manager, our ownership group is acting like they have no money and our best player is about to be sent to the west coast. Oh, yea and the Red Sox are still throwing a parade for #TruckDay and raising ticket prices because they are painfully tone-deaf. Ugh.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) February 3, 2020