Mookie Betts signs with Dodgers ending his Red Sox saga
On Wednesday, we learned that former Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts was in discussions with his new side, the Los Angeles Dodgers, over a long-term extension to his contract. Betts’ deal had just one-year left on it, after being traded from the Sox to Los Angeles back in February of this year. It was just a matter of time until the talks were done, and Betts had penned a 12-year, $365 million deal with the Dodgers.
This news obviously hits home hard within Red Sox Nation, as the saga surrounding the potential return of Betts, following this season, officially draws to a close. Even more so, the way in which Betts departed Boston will leave bad relations between fans and the ballclub. Mainly due to the fact that they didn’t even try to offer Betts nearly near enough as to what he deserved to be getting from the organization that selected him, developed him, and watched him grow into one of the best players in the world.
Everybody knows how good Mookie is, there’s no need to go over the numbers. At 27-years-old and after just five full seasons in the majors, Mookie has established himself as a perennial All-Star (four appearances), won four Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers as well as becoming the 2018 American League MVP. An exceptional season that was capped off with him and the Red Sox winning the World Series title against his side for over the next decade in the Dodgers.
MLB is a weird place, where even weirder stuff happens. And, a lot of this tends to happen in this organization. Back in January, the Sox had reportedly offered Betts a 10-year, $300 million deal. You look at what he is now getting in LA, he’s getting an extra two years on the deal, with $65 million on top of what the Sox offered.
That shouldn’t even be relevant when we’re speaking what we’re speaking about. Betts is the best in the game, and the Sox traded him for whatever they could get. They used him as a chess piece in a game in trying to get below the luxury tax. That’s not what you even think about when you have the player like you did in Mookie. You find another way. No return is going to be worth it, so why even try?
The Sox now have Chaim Bloom, who hasn’t been in charge for a game yet, getting backlash for making the biggest decision of the decade when he was never really given a chance. Coming in and trading your franchise player isn’t a good look in any sport, let alone baseball when there is no salary cap and no immediate need to make a decision as rash as this one was.
Bottom line is that Betts deserves this money. Back in January, he countered the Red Sox with that 12-year, $420 million offer which didn’t seem too much of stretch then, and it still doesn’t now. It was his first offer, even if it was ridiculous then you could’ve said the same about the one the Sox offered him.
Negotiations could’ve been had and a deal probably could’ve come along pretty nicely, but this never seemed like the type of thing anyone upstairs in the organization was trying to make happen. The only thing that was prioritized was getting under the luxury tax. Now that you’ve done that, what’s next? Mission complete, at the cost of losing a generational talent that became a generational talent in your organization.
One of your own who deserved what he should’ve been paid and ended up getting it from a team who seem to be doing everything right. You’d expect a full rebuild within the farm system would be the right way to go now that this has drawn to a close. It could be an ugly few seasons following a period that could’ve been extremely successful with the talented group of individuals that Boston put together.
Betts gets the deal and he gets a terrific opportunity to play in a very together franchise who will compete for titles for years to come. It’s not great for the Red Sox at all and their concern with money when they have one of the biggest payrolls in baseball has been prioritized here over the face of the franchise, and it’ll certainly have knock-on effects on their other leading names.