Following weeks of anticipation, the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to string together a three-team trade to land former AL MVP Mookie Betts in a blockbuster deal. It has put one of the game’s best players in a Dodger uniform to help their efforts in getting back to the World Series in 2020 after falling in the divisional round in last year’s postseason. However, there is an underlying question about whether Los Angeles will have Betts beyond next season as he’s set to become a free agent.
There are reports that he’s looking to land a lucrative deal that could make him one of the highest-paid players in the league. However, the question will remain if the Dodgers will be willing to pay in similar territory to Los Angeles star Mike Trout.
The Dodgers land Mookie Betts
Throughout the first couple of months of the offseason, the Dodgers faced much flak from their fanbase for the lack of movement to acquire additional star talent.
That saw them let players like Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon slip away in free agency to other teams. However, the chatter around Betts continued to linger, but nothing truly transpired for the first few weeks.
That began to gain traction over the last few days as the Dodgers intensified their interest in Betts to move seriously in the direction of hammering out a deal. The teams agreed on a three-team trade, but there was a hold up with Minnesota Twins prospect Brusdar Graterol’s physical.
Los Angeles was able to work around it by moving one of their own prospects in shortstop Jeter Downs and catcher Connor Wong to the Red Sox to land both Betts and former All-Star David Price earlier this week.
Mookie Betts is eyeing a historic deal
In many ways, the Dodgers acquired Betts for primarily a light package that saw them only have to move two major-leaguers in Alex Verdugo and Kenta Maeda along with a pair of prospects.
The Dodgers have a deep minor-league system, which is argued as one of the best in the league, along with a talented, well-rounded roster. However, they are now facing Betts’ pending free agency as he’s set to hit the open market after the 2020 campaign.
Before the trade was completed, there were rumblings that he had turned down a 10-year, $300 million deal from the Red Sox after the 2018 season. Betts and his camp countered with a $12-year, $420 million that led to contract talks falling apart due to the massive money gap.
That would put him just shy of the 12-year, $430 million contract that Trout has with the Angels. That begs the question if the Dodgers believe that Betts is worth the type of money that would put him just below arguably the best player in baseball.
Does Mookie Betts deserve a Mike Trout-like deal?
The Dodgers and Betts may not be comfortable with discussing this deal at this moment, given how new things are and the fact that he hasn’t played a game for the team yet.
However, the Dodgers will have to address it at some point in the coming months. There is no denying that Betts is an extremely talented player that has four All-Star selections, an AL MVP, three Silver Slugger awards, four Gold Glove awards, and an AL batting title since entering the majors in 2014.
The 27-year-old is clearly in the prime of his career, but a 10 to 12-year commitment that the Dodgers may not be willing to commit to at this point. They have been more on the lower spectrum of things when it comes to working out contracts.
However, things could be different this time around as Betts has a chance to a be core piece to the puzzle for years to come while helping extend their World Series window. In all likelihood, it could see the Dodgers let things play out on the field to see how he fits in first with their roster before making any decision on contract talks.
If Betts proves to be a strong fit with the team, how the Dodgers operate with his contract discussions will be quite indicative of the franchise’s approach for the long haul with other young star talents down the line. Only time will tell how things will unfold.