Red Sox, Mookie Betts Avoid Arbitration

Mookie Betts Xander Bogaerts headline Red Sox arbitration-eligible players

Mookie Betts Xander Bogaerts headline Red Sox arbitration-eligible players

There will be no arbitration battle between Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox this year.

The $20 million sets a new standard for players with four or more years of service, and it nearly doubles the salary for Betts, who was awarded $10.5 million in 2017 after the Red Sox had countered with a $7.5 million offer. Josh Donaldson holds the record for highest settlement for an arbitration-eligible player, reeling in $23 million last offseason. Before the 2017 season, Betts' contract was renewed. The salaries the Sox settled on Friday keep that number in line, going by the Cot's estimate. But it's still worth it on the Red Sox' end, paying a reasonable price for the 2018 American League MVP.

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The optics of avoiding any hearings are good for the Sox.

Furthermore, this development could be notable for the Red Sox in that the team failed to reach an agreement with their superstar outfielder last winter, leading to an arbitration hearing to determine his salary. He's the face of the Red Sox, and one of the best all-around players in baseball. Betts won his case, life went on. The prospect of the Red Sox arguing for a lower salary for the MVP victor would have been a particularly unflattering look for the team this year and also serve as a red flag for their chances to come to an agreement on a contract extension for Betts.

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