BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Mookie Betts have avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $27 million deal on Friday.
Now we’ll see if the Red Sox actually pay Betts that salary in 2020, or deal the outfielder before the season. Betts will be a free agent after the season and has rejected Boston’s offers for a long-term deal, instead looking to cash in on the open market next winter. With the Red Sox looking to trim salary this winter to avoid a gigantic luxury tax fee, they may trade the outfielder to help in that quest, and get something in return should Betts bolt next winter.
In addition to that big payday, Betts also reportedly will get his own suite whenever the Red Sox are on the road this season. Not too shabby.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 10, 2020
Betts’ one-year deal eclipses the record-setting $26 million that Nolan Arenado got from the Rockies as a third-year arbitration eligible player last year.
Betts isn’t the only player that the Red Sox agreed to terms with on Friday. They also inked outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to a one-year, $11 million deal, and signed relievers Matt Barnes ($3 million), Heath Hembree ($1.6 million) and Brandon Workman ($3.5 million).
Boston did not reach agreements with outfielder Andrew Benintendi and starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez before Friday’s deadline. There’s a chance the team could reach an agreement with either player, but they will likely head to arbitration.