Today is a historic day for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the city of Los Angeles and for Mookie Betts.
The Dodgers and Mookie Betts have agreed to a 12 year, $365 million contract extension that makes Betts one of the highest paid players in all of baseball.
Adding on this current season and his salary for 2020, although pro-rated, Mookie Betts’ contract with the Dodgers is 13 years, $392 million in total. However, after this pro-rated salary, Betts will only make $10 million instead of $27 million in 2020.
Like every sports contract that is this massive and complex, there is a lot to breakdown and cover.
First off, Mookie Betts’ deal includes a $65 million signing bonus. It seems as if the salary in the first two seasons of his extension will be $17.5 million and the signing bonus was somewhat of a compensation for those relatively low salary numbers.
Second, according to a source, $115 million of the $365 million is deferred money that will be paid after Betts has retired. This is a common trend with these ludicrous contracts nowadays. To add, this contract does not include opt-outs or a no-trade clause.
Last, Mookie Betts is in Los Angeles to win.
In the press conference that was held today, Mookie Betts said, “I’m here to win rings and bring rings back to L.A.” He also noted that he was impressed with all of the talent the Dodgers currently have and players who are in the minor league system.
Betts called the Dodgers organization, “a well oiled machine” and this is what helped him agree to a contract extension. Betts went on to add, “I’m not looking to be the face of the organization, I’m just here to do my job.”
Well, unfortunately for Mookie Betts, he is going to quickly become one of the faces of this organization. After Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen leave or decide to retire, Betts will surely be propped onto a pedestal with Walker Buehler and Cody Bellinger.
Since entering the league in 2014, Mookie Betts has a career: .301 batting average, 139 home runs, 470 RBI’s and 965 hits. He was the 2018 American League MVP, World Series Champion, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner. In total, Betts has won four Gold Glove awards, two Silver Slugger awards and has been a four time All Star.
There were critics chirping about how the Dodgers wouldn’t be able to retain Betts after this 2020 season and that he would eventually end up back in Boston but Mookie Betts had other words to say.
“It’s a long-term commitment, but I wouldn’t want it with anybody else,” when asked about his brand new contract extension. “Super happy to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career.”
It is a great day to be Mookie Betts. It is also a great day to be Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, Andrew Friedman.
How many times have we as Dodger fans collectively asked for Friedman’s head because of something he didn’t do or something we wanted him to do? Too many times. This signing solidifies Friedman as a genius in the front office game of baseball.
After years of bargain baseball and strange minor league acquisitions, Andrew Friedman has been playing a five year game it seems like. When he took over in 2015, he immediately took this team and did a 180 with how it was structured. He shed some excess contracts, traded some not so great players and acquired players that helped the Dodgers reach their first World Series in 30 years.
Since being in the Dodgers front office, Friedman has been frugal with his signings and has held back on signing the Bryce Harper’s and Gerrit Cole’s. At the time it was frustrating to not see a superstar player coming to Los Angeles. However, now everything makes sense.
It seems as if Friedman has played this game perfectly and lined it up to where the Dodgers would eventually acquire a superstar player and then extend that player without having to compete in a bidding war.
“When we made the trade, we made it with more than 2020 in mind,” Friedman said referring to this years trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles in exchange for Alex Verdugo.
Friedman knew what he was doing all along and while the fans were playing checkers, he was playing chess.
Knowing that he just accomplished a historic feat in Dodgers history, “I will sleep extremely well,” Friedman said in the press conference earlier today. I think it is safe to say that every Dodger fan will also be sleeping extremely well tonight!
After months of uncertainty revolving around the current pandemic and whether or not Betts would remain in Los Angeles, I know I can’t be the only Dodger fan that finally clicked the “place order” button on MLB Shop and ordered a brand new Mookie Betts Dodgers jersey.
Today has been an exciting and monumental day for the Dodgers, Mookie Betts and fans of the boys in blue. Tomorrow, we get to see Mookie Betts put on the home whites and kickstart the 2020 season!