Mookie Betts will be earning $20 million in 2019, and that is just the beginning for the 26-year-old MVP.
In 2018, Mookie Betts did much more than just win his first ever World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox. He also put together a stellar season from start to finish, hitting 32 home runs, recording 80 RBIs and stealing 30 bases, which culminated with him winning the American League MVP award.
His efforts paid off in a big way, as Betts is now coming darn close to doubling his salary for the upcoming 2019 season. In just his second year of arbitration eligibility, Betts and the Red Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $20 million salary this year, which is a huge raise over his $10.5 million salary from a year ago.
There’s no doubt that Betts is worth the money. He’s the face of the Red Sox, and one of the best all-around players in baseball. His numbers during the 2018 season were nothing short of outstanding, and the best part is that he’s only 26 years old; barely even in the prime of his career yet.
Nevertheless, this just goes to show that if the Red Sox hope to keep Betts in Boston for the foreseeable future — as most fans are hoping — they are going to have to break open the bank vault and shower him in dollar signs.
Betts’ deal for 2019 is a record deal for a player in just his second year of arbitration eligibility, and Boston essentially has two routes to take going forward. They can either pay Betts even more money to avoid arbitration for the 2020 season, or they can sign him to a long term contract and prevent him from testing the free agent waters after 2020.
No matter which way they opt to go, the Red Sox will be shelling out a ton of money. Betts is already on path to becoming one of baseball’s all-time greats, and if Boston wants to keep him around, unfortunately there is just no reasonably-priced way to do it.