Life could have looked very different for the Dodgers if the Red Sox were playing better. Coming off of a third-place finish in the AL East in 2019, they had to decide what to do with Mookie Betts. The superstar outfielder was set to hit free agency after the 2020 season, and they weren’t sure how competitive they would be.
Ultimately, they did make an offer to Betts for a long-term extension. That deal was reported to be in the range of $300 million with the number of years often being disputed. The Dodgers would later sign him to a massive 12-year extension that paid out an additional $365 million.
And it sounds like that was the different-maker for Betts in his decision. Speaking with Boston media this week, he talked about receiving an offer to continue playing for the Red Sox. His team just didn’t feel like the offer met his value.
“There was an offer that was put out there and we just declined and we felt, I just wanted to get my value, man. That’s all. Just like any person that lives, they want to get their value, what they’re worth. That’s pretty much all that that it was. Just the numbers didn’t align, which is normal.”
Obviously, the Dodgers very much thought he was worth the extra $65 million. They offered him that deal before ever playing a meaningful game. He rewarded that faith in him immediately, leading Los Angeles to its first World Series title since 1988.
But Mookie also made sure to clarify that it really was just business. There was nothing about him not wanting to play in Boston or not enjoying his time there. But when it comes down to it, baseball is a business. And the Dodgers are in the business of paying their players.