Red Sox, Mookie Betts Avoid Arbitration

Red Sox, Mookie Betts Avoid Arbitration

Red Sox, Mookie Betts Avoid Arbitration

An All-Star in 2016, the 34-year-old right-hander started the 2018 season late following left knee surgery and a 15-game domestic violence suspension. He had 32 homers, 129 runs and 80 RBIs as he ignited the offense and played Gold Glove defense in the Red Sox's championship season, his fifth in the majors.

AL MVP Mookie Betts and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox agreed to a $20 million, one-year contract, a raise of $9.5 million that was for a few hours the highest for an arbitration-eligible player. A panel would then determine how much money that player would make for the 2019 season, choosing between the team's offer and the player's salary request. His almost $10 million jump is the highest arbitration raise ever received by a position player.

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While Kris Bryant holds the record for salaries among first-year arbitration eligible players, Betts could be setting the standard in his second year of eligibility.

Nevertheless, this just goes to show that if the Red Sox hope to keep Betts in Boston for the foreseeable future - as most fans are hoping - they are going to have to break open the bank vault and shower him in dollar signs. He's the face of the Red Sox, and one of the best all-around players in baseball.

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The Sox have already struck deals with relievers Heath Hembree and Tyler Thornburg to avoid arbitration.

Also eligible for arbitration are outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., shortstop Xander Bogarts, right-handers Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, utiliyman Brock Holt, catcher Sandy Leon and catcher/first baseman Blake Swihart.

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