Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox.
FILE PHOTO: Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) takes the field prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
He told Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald he’s firm that he will enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal.
“That’s exactly what I expect,” the outfielder said. “Didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent.”
Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Betts can become a free agent after the 2020 season.
With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million) Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (finalizing a reported 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels) — Betts will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.
And he knows it.
“I love it here in Boston. It’s a great spot. I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold,” Betts, a 26-year-old Tennessee native, told reporters. .”.. That doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value.”
In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, hitting 32 home runs and stealing 30 bases.
In 644 career games over four-plus seasons with the Red Sox, Betts has a .303 career batting average, 110 home runs, 110 stolen bases and 390 RBIs.
—Field Level Media