By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — OK, Mookie Betts. Now it’s your turn.
We thought that Betts would be the next MLB superstar to be given an astronomical amount of cheddar after Bryce Harper signed his monster deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Red Sox still control Betts for two more seasons, but with contracts getting bigger and bigger, there was some thought that the Boston brass may want to work out a long-term deal sooner rather than later.
But the Los Angeles Angeles of Anahiem of the USA on Planet Earth went out and locked up their superstar with an even bigger deal than Harper’s, signing Mike Trout to a reported 10-year extension that works out to a 12-year deal worth $430 million on Tuesday. It raises the bar even higher for what the Red Sox will have to give Betts sometime between now and the winter of 2021. That is, if the Red Sox want to invest nearly a half-a-billion dollars in one player.
For Mookie, they should. He’s not a better player than Trout and you can debate if he deserves that much money all you want, but that isn’t the point when it comes to gigantic contracts. Betts is next in line, and chances are he’s going to want a deal that lands somewhere in the vast wasteland between Harper’s $330 million deal and Trout’s $430 million. And if he doesn’t get close to Trout’s total dollar amount, he’ll certainly be shooting for his annual salary of $36 million. Then the Red Sox can counter with the $25.4 million that Harper will make per season. Maybe in the end, they’ll both agree somewhere around the $32.5 million that the Rockies will pay Nolan Arenado per year. Seems fair enough.
But that is just as of today. If the two sides wait the two years, there is no telling what kind of funny money gets tossed around between now and then. Soon enough, star players will be able to buy their own franchises.
We’ll see if that’s something the two sides can work out over the next two years, or if Betts will become the star of free agency in 2021. Either way, the price tag on Betts got a little more expensive for the Red Sox on Tuesday.