When the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox in February, it was undoubtedly done with an eye on the long term, not just a World Series run in 2020. The 27-year-old superstar outfielder had one year left on his contract and — as is widely known — is set on testing free agency after the 2020 season.
He turned down a contract offer reportedly in the neighborhood of $300 million from Boston last season. Now, the novel coronavirus has certainly thrown something of a wrench in his potential earnings on the open market.
However, the former MVP says he’s not exactly worried about that at the moment, especially with more important things going on in the world.
"Free agency is on the back burner. That'll come. That’s nothing that I’m really thinking about right now. I think the main concern is the safety and health."
Mookie Betts might not worry about too much else until the Dodgers get their testing results back.
— Clint Pasillas (@realFRG) July 7, 2020
Betts mentioned that he and the club are still awaiting the results of COVID-19 testing as part of MLB’s return to play health and safety protocols. Other Dodgers including Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, and A.J. Pollock have held back from reporting to summer camp at Dodger Stadium so far. Quite possibly until the club gets those results back. Moreover, longtime teammate David Price already opted out of the 2020 season over health concerns.
So it’s understandable that his next contract wouldn’t be on the top of his mind. Still, for Dodgers fans, it’s a lingering concern. In fact, given the climate of the game after weeks of stalled negotiations between owners and players, there’s an added concern about what the next free agency class will even look like.
So could Mookie possibly regret that reported $300 million he left on the table?
“I don’t regret turning that down,” Betts said emphatically, “once I make a decision, I make a decision, I don’t go back and question myself. So I don’t worry about that — the market will be what the market is.”
Of course, that market could be hit even harder if baseball has to pull the plug on the season. Betts already didn’t have a “load of confidence” in the season reboot even happening to begin with. He also mentioned that “didn’t do a whole lot of baseball activities” during the long layoff. So, there’s a likelihood that he may not be fully invested in anything until we get those test results back. So let’s go ahead and get those back, MLB.
The sooner Mookie is playing baseball in a Dodger uniform, the sooner he can start thinking about that contract with LA.