The Boston Red Sox are preparing themselves for the possibility that Mookie Betts could leave in free agency, and his decision will mold his legacy forever.
We’re in the heart of winter and much of Red Sox Nation is preparing for what may be a heartbreaker of a season….again. While it’s hard to not look at the direct future we must have our eyes firmly planted on the 2021 offseason and the impending free agency of Mookie Betts.
The star right-fielder and former AL MVP made it clear that he’ll be dipping his toes into the free agency pool when the time comes. Boston has made some efforts in the past to retain the uber-talented dynamo but they’ve been rebuffed at every pass. Now with the 2020 season fast approaching that means that his possible departure is that much closer as well.
He’ll have to choose whether he wants to finish his career in Boston or head elsewhere for a much deserved massive payday. It’s hard to deny that Mookie has earned himself a contract that will take care of his family for generations. Red Sox Nation selfishly wants that to come from FSG but it’s hard to tell if they’ll be willing to spend the cash.
I understand what the owners are trying to do this winter in order to reset the CBT penalty marker. However, if it isn’t being done in order to write Betts the biggest check possible, then what the hell was the point? I get not wanting to write a massive penalty check for your team salary, but when FSG is ranked third richest among sports conglomerates, I can’t lose sleep over it.
This all ties back into Mookie in the fact that he’s going to see some serious numbers thrown his way and if Boston can’t keep pace with his suitors then they may as well help him pack. Next winter will not only impact the Red Sox for the foreseeable future but it’ll play a big factor in the legacy of the outfielder.
In recent times we’ve seen big-name free agents head to teams that will most likely not contend during the time span of their contracts. Manny Machado signed with the Padres for $300M over ten-years and will probably never sniff the postseason. Mike Trout recently signed a 12-year/$428M extension with the Angels this past winter and much like Machado, probably won’t sniff the Commissioner’s Trophy.
So, where does that leave Boston’s best homegrown talent since Ted Williams? That’s a question I can’t begin to answer since I have no idea what his true desires are. Mookie has often said he’s loved playing in Boston, that’s never been in question. His phone will be ringing off the hook once he’s officially a free agent and the clock will start ticking.
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Legacy is a word that gets tossed around a lot in sports and each and every decision can add to that legacy for a player. Will he sign elsewhere solely for the money and give-up that chance at a postseason? Will he stay with Boston even if their price is competitive but not the highest?
Each question carries its own weight and magnitude for the future of Mookie Betts. We can’t begin to even understand what’s going through his head as free agency approaches as none of us have ever had to make a decision worth $300 million.
So, what will be Mookie’s legacy when it’s all said and done? Will he be remembered as the guy that remained with the franchise that drafted him? Will he be remembered as the guy that took his talents elsewhere for a big payday?
These are literally million-dollar questions, well maybe more like three-hundred million dollar questions. We often talk about legacy and if you ask the players I’m sure they’d admit that they think about it.
Mookie Betts has been a dynamic addition to the Red Sox since he first stepped foot into Fenway Park. What he’s been able to do on and off the field with this team has been incredibly impressive. It’s hard to imagine him wearing another team’s uniform but that sight may soon become a reality. Either way, next winter will be monumental for not only the Red Sox but for Mookie Betts and his legacy as well.