It is necessary that the Red Sox do everything possible to keep their most valuable players around for the years to come. Mookie Betts is top of this list.
Right now, the Red Sox couldn’t be in a much better predicament if they tried. Going into the 2019 MLB season as defending World Series champions, Boston’s team is as strong as ever. The next big thing to think about now is how to maintain a roster which is considered the greatest in baseball.
Well, the first and most important thing that is required, is to make sure that you keep your star players around to take the team forward. This will help the roster keep up its performances and allow it to shine like it did last year. For Boston, one name in particular comes to mind whilst considering all of this – 2018 AL MVP, Mookie Betts.
Making sure that Betts is locked down for the long-term should remain the Red Sox’s main priority. What he’s shown in Boston, particularly throughout the 2018 season, highlights his place as one of the greatest players in baseball and a once-in-a-generation kind of ball player. To go on and remain competitive for beyond the next few seasons, keeping Betts in the fold would signify the strongest way to do this.
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After winning his arbitration meeting last winter, Mookie earned $10.5 million last season – a sum which is far short of what a player of his caliber should be getting at this time in MLB. A contract extension would be needed, within the year, if the Red Sox want the 2018 MVP to stay in Beantown.
With a number of other Red Sox superstars’ contract clocks running down, the next year or so will be a very important time frame for the franchise whilst determining the course of the near future. Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts are players who remain vital for this team, as well as Mookie, and will also be commanding a lot of money when signing their next deals. For now, the Red Sox can’t afford to be rash whilst making roster changes, a thing which they are doing very well so far this offseason, just bringing back Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce, so far.
As Betts’ situation is settled for the 2019 season, Sox fans will expect him to pick up where he left off in 2018. The magic that he produced from the lead-off spot, in a season which will live long in the hearts of the Red Sox faithful, shaped a season to cast among the greatest when talking about all-time years for a Sox player.
However, he also boosted the teams morale and was a spark that sent the Red Sox on their way, capturing their ninth title. Leading the league in countless areas, Mookie scored 129 runs in 136 regular season games. With a .346 batting average, Mookie earned his second career Silver Slugger award to go along with a third Golden Glove.
Looking likely to hit lower down the order, after suggestions of outfield teammate Andrew Benintendi potentially leading off, Betts will have more RBI opportunities in 2019. His complete 2018 season can be a catalyst for both his career and how his teammates perform, going forward. Betts is the key to this teams future and the sooner that he is given that extension, the better.