The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a huge move and locked up star outfielder Mookie Betts to a new 12-year extension. The new money, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN, is $365 million over 12 seasons. That, combined with the one season he had remaining on his contract, puts his overall contract at 13-years, and $392 million.
So Betts will be with the team, assuming they don’t deal him, into the 2030s.
Mookie Betts Gets a Record-Setting Extension
This news does come as a little bit of a surprise. Not that he would end up getting huge money from the Dodgers, but that he’s signing this deal before he even plays a game in a Dodgers uniform.
Prevailing thought when the team deal for him was that he was going to test the market no matter what. That was even the thought if the team offered him an extension like this. That was a big part of the reason the Red Sox decided to part ways with the MVP.
However, things have clearly changed. Whether it be the pandemic and Betts not knowing what a free agent market could look like, or him being around the organization, getting a feel for things, and feeling like this is the place he can make the kind of money he wanted and win, he decided it was enough to want to sign up long-term.
This Mookie Betts extension is also a little out of character for the Dodgers. People normally think of the Dodgers as a team that spends as much money as it takes. However, when you look at their contracts going forward, that’s really not the case.
Before this deal, the team only had ~$121 million tied up into next season. Now that still had them top-five, so it’s not like other teams should feel bad for them. However, $51 million of that was Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. So overall it’s not like the team is paying everyone at least $15 million per season.
Again, Betts not getting to free agency is a bit surprising. However, the Dodgers do have the resources, and if they want to win a World Series for the first time since 1988, having one of the better outfielders, leadoff hitters, and a four-time Gold Glove defender and a former MVP, certainly helps.
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