The Boston Red Sox are between a rock and a hard place in regards to Mookie Betts. Today one of their legends gave his thoughts on the matter at hand.
Mookie Betts is at the center of the baseball world right now as all eyes are on the star outfielder and the Boston Red Sox. At this point, it doesn’t feel like it’s an “if” when it comes to a possible trade but more so a “when.” Things are getting hot and heavy with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers going toe-to-toe for the services of the former MVP. With the situation reportedly nearing its end, a Boston legend spoke up and gave his thoughts.
While in Miami for Sunday’s Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49’ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, David Ortiz hit media row and was asked by Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston about the situation surrounding Mookie. Big Papi has been the heart and soul of the Red Sox since coming over from Minnesota and continues to be a presence within the organization even in retirement.
Ortiz has always expressed how grateful he is towards the Red Sox organization and the ownership group behind the team. Whether it was during his playing days or when they jumped to action to bring Papi back to Boston after he was shot this summer, he has never wavered from the team he loves. When he answered the question about Betts he spoke glowingly about the superstar.
It’s clear that the former DH can see the amount of talent and skill that Mookie offers to any team he’s with, but he also sees things from the business aspect of the game.
"“Here’s the thing, though, my boy Mookie is at the stage of his career where he has to get what he deserves,” Ortiz told NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry on Thursday at the Super Bowl in Miami. “The Red Sox, we have a very high payroll, and I don’t think our owner wants to go past that.”"
Papi is spot on in both of those statements, Mookie has more than earned his shot at getting a massive payday, and sadly, that likely won’t be coming from the Red Sox. When we look at the reported offers and counters between the two sides, one thing jumps out at me, the duration. In the long run, I don’t think it’s the money that is stopping Boston.
Their offer breaks down to an AAV of $35M and Betts countered with $35M, not a massive leap. Boston wanted to sign the outfielder for 10 years while they were countered with 12, that’s the snag.
That extra two years may not seem like much but Betts will be knocking on 40 years old by then and most certainly will have lost a step or two. If FSG were to increase their offer to 10 years/$350-380M I think this would be done by spring training, but they won’t.
"“Signing Mookie, it definitely would put that payroll way over. I don’t think the Red Sox are ready for that. You don’t want to get rid of a guy like him because Mookie’s got to be, right now, the most exciting player to watch, in the whole MLB. That’s my boy, that’s like a little brother to me,” Ortiz added."
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Ortiz is a company man but he’s also a player first and foremost. He’ll forever be loyal to the Red Sox but he also knows that careers can end just as fast as they began, just ask Nomar Garciaparra and Dustin Pedroia. Though Pedey has yet to concede defeat to his left knee, the writing is on the wall. Injuries can derail a career right in the heart of its prime and having a 12-year deal riddled with IL visits isn’t good when $35M is on the line.
As much as we all opine over our love of the game and how could someone need that much money and all of that nonsense, at the end of the day this is still a business. When all is said and done it’s about making money and why should Mookie not seek out his best wages?
Wouldn’t you want to be paid based on your job performance, especially if your one of the best in your field? This is no different and with the numbers he’s put up during his six years in Boston, he’s earned the right to get paid.
"“I could talk to you about Mookie forever, but the reality is, business-wise, this is going to be his last year (under contract),” Ortiz said. “And you know the game that teams love playing with a guy like him — I trade him, I will get young talent, you will get whatever you want with Mookie. Unfortunately, that’s the baseball business.”"
David Ortiz is one of the greatest players to put on a Red Sox uniform and hearing him speak about someone else that can carry that weight is a treat. He didn’t mince any words and gave insights not only from the perspective of a player but also a businessman. Time will tell what the future holds for Mookie Betts but as it stands right now, it feels like that future will be with another team.