There’s been rumor upon rumor as to what will happen to Mookie Betts. The Sox slugger is a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
Mookie Betts has had a great career with the Boston Red Sox. He’s hit 131 home runs, 455 RBI’s and 122 stolen bases. He had a breakout year in 2018, batting for .346 with 80 RBI’s. He also won the MVP award and World Series Champion.
In 2019, he’s fallen back a little, only batting .285 with 65 RBI’s. With his contract ending at the end of the 2020 season, will the Red Sox keep him or let him test the market and see what his value is? He’s expected to get Mike Trout money, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels for $430 million through 2030.
Betts has declined any extension in the past but has earned a big payday. The Red Sox want him to be the face of the franchise for many years to come but the question is will the Sox be willing to offer the money Betts wants? Peter Gammons wrote in the Athletic last week that the Sox want to sign Betts long term.
"“If Mookie wants to stay in Boston, we’ll pay him, we want him to be the face of the franchise. But it’s hard to know. He’s rejected our outreach in the past. We have to know if he’s open to signing a year before he hits free agency at the end of next season.” said a Sox Offical"
Betts has stated that he loves the Red Sox. He told WEEI yesterday that he loves being in Boston and anyone making assumptions that he doesn’t like it are wrong. He is going to go where he can get the most money and if Boston is that team then so be it.
This season, he bats better at Fenway (.311) than away games (.256). He’s got thirteen home runs at Fenway and 36 RBI’s. It would be nice if they signed Betts long term to keep that average up instead of going to another team, costing the Red Sox a big part of their lineup.
The Red Sox would be missing a key asset at the leadoff spot if they lost Betts. He can be a powerhouse and gets the rest of the guys going. With the bases empty, Betts has 16 home runs, 16 RBI’s with a .286 average.
The question remains, what will get Betts to stay in Boston? The obvious answer is money but there is more too it than that. Winning could be a big part of it he’s going to want to play somewhere where he’ll make the most money and win championships. He already won one in Boston and knows the Sox have the potential to win multiple championships with the talent they have.
What would kill Sox fans is if he went to New York and played for the Yankees. I doubt he’d be a bust in New York like Jacoby Ellsbury was when he went there. If New York offered him more than Boston I do think he could end up with the Yankees. If the Sox really want Betts they need to offer him a deal that would convince him to stay.