Red Sox are putting up a barrier between them and their best player due to an arbitration hearing.
The Boston Red Sox have been in a ton of rumors this offseason. Amid the free agent rumors, they have done a disservice with their current best player in Mookie Betts. The arbitration process has been one that evokes unneeded tension on young players. Also, it can offend a young player when they are most likely asking for what they deserve. The Red Sox need to start extending some of their young guys, or they’ll leave for nothing but a compensation pick.
So, Boston would be smart to extend their core players before it’s too late. Unfortunately, Mookie Betts did turn down a contract extension to buy out some of his arbitration years. It was reportedly in the range of 5 years-$100 million. That is pretty good money for a player under 25. That was a smart move for Boston. Now, the team is going on a year to year basis.
The Red Sox offered Mookie Betts $7.5 million. There was only a $3 million dollar difference, the team should have done him a solid and went the distance. Boston’s best interest would have been to lend a hand to Betts, so that maybe in the near future the outfielder could sign long-term with the team. It seems like Betts is headed out of Boston when he becomes a free agent.
The Red Sox shouldn’t lock up Jackie Bradley Jr. just because of his defense. His inconsistency at the plate is a red flag. The problem with Xander Bogaerts is that he is a Scott Boras client, so they will most likely have to overpay for him. So, Mookie Betts is the player they should be coddling. He has five-tool potential and is the face of the franchise.
In 2016, Betts put his name on the map when he hit .318 with 31 home runs with 113 RBI. That was a huge power surge and wasn’t expected by most. But, the outfielder adapted to the league and surprised with his great season. That was the perfect time to lock him up, but he refused to take the offer. The Red Sox have now built a barrier between the two sides because they didn’t think he was worth $10.5 million, the $3 million more was a deal breaker.
Mookie Betts 2017 wasn’t as great as the previous year. He hit .264 with 24 homers and 102 RBI and accumulated a 5.3 WAR. That is an All-Star caliber player. In 2016, he had a monster WAR with a 7.9, which equates to an MVP type player. So maybe the Boston Red Sox should’ve offered more than $100 million? He was worth $42.8 million last year. Although it was an underwhelming season overall for Betts, Bogaerts, and Bradley Jr. their best player still produced.
With that said, Mookie Betts is the key player that the Red Sox need. Yes, he did just get Kris Bryant arbitration money. But numbers wise, Betts has put up MVP type numbers. So he should be treated as such.