Mookie Betts Signs a 12 Year, $365 Million Extension With the Los Angeles Dodgers


Mookie Betts (above) signed a 12-year, $365 million deal with the Dodgers last week. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Sam Davis, Contributing Writer

On July 22, news broke of Mookie Betts and his massive contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, totaling $365 million over 12 years. When including his original contract for the 2020 season (worth $27 million), Betts will make $392 million in 13 years. Mookie Betts was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers on Feb. 10, but was only guaranteed one year in a Dodgers uniform. Instead of letting Betts test free agency prior to the 2021 season, the Dodgers guaranteed his future would be in Los Angeles. The deal is the second biggest in MLB history in terms of total value, as only Mike Trout received more money in his deal with the Angels ($426 million). Mookie Betts is a 2018 MVP and a superstar in the league. The Dodgers hope he will cement his legacy over the next 13 years in Los Angeles.

With the unique short season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dodgers were only guaranteed to have Mookie Betts for 60 games as opposed to the normal 162 game season. Letting Betts test free agency was a risk they did not want to take, especially with the fact that David Price (the other key part of the Feb. 10 deal with the Red Sox) would not be playing in the 2020 season. The Dodgers also gave up outfielder Alex Verdugo and top prospect Jeter Downs as part of the deal, and all they received in return for the 2020 season was Betts for 60 games. For this reason, the Dodgers looked to make this deal before Betts even played an official game in an Los Angeles uniform. The fact that they were able to lock up Mookie Betts for so long makes their original transaction in February a great deal.

From the standpoint of Mookie Betts, getting a deal done with the Dodgers was a smart decision based on the economic environment in the game of baseball at this time. First off, Betts wanted to be a part of the Dodgers franchise, which is evident by the fact that he turned down over $300 million from the Red Sox this past offseason. In addition to this, the free agent market this coming offseason is expected to be weak, as there will simply be less money available to give to players as a result of the pandemic. This makes the deal very smart from not only the Dodgers side of things, but also for Mookie Betts personally. The Dodgers are favorites to win the National League pennant, and with the Mookie Betts deal, they will be looking to win their first World Series since 1988.