Red Sox: Ranking the top five bargain contracts in Major League Baseball
By Jimmy Longo
All of Mookie Betts‘ baseball career, the young outfielder has seemingly come out of nowhere until getting to the majors, where he took it by storm.
Betts’ sophomore campaign was much of the same for the Tennessee native, as the then-23-year-old hit for 214 hits, 18 home runs and 113 runs batted in, while only making $566,000.
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Betts’ stats in the middle of the Red Sox lineup were good enough to garner Betts enough attention in the MVP race, finishing second only to Mike Trout. Although Trout won the award, I’m still under the understanding that Betts should have won. Though Trout finished with a higher war and the highest overall war (10.55) to Betts’ second-place finish and WAR (9.55), it is in my opinion that Betts should have won the award based on what losing both players would have done to their respective teams.
Without Betts, the Red Sox lose the division and likely miss the playoffs entirely, whereas with Trout suffering an injury or something else hypothetical — you pick — the Angels are still a basement dweller in the American League West division.
Flash forward to the 2017 season, and Betts will still only be making $950,000. $950,000, which at the time of its signing, was the second highest contract ever awarded to a player in a non-arbitration eligible setting.
This signing came after the Red Sox and Betts were unable to agree on a contract-extension figure before the spring really got going. Time will tell if that inability to get something done foresees future contract difficulties for Betts and representation with the Red Sox.