Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts expects to test free agency after the 2020 season. Is there a chance he actually leaves Boston? Maybe, but probably not. #DirtyWater (Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

If you were hoping that the Red Sox were going to extend Mookie Betts prior to his upcoming free agency, you were mistaken. Betts will spend at least 2 more years in a Red Sox uniform and will become a free agent after the 2020 season. Betts is taking his contract as a year by year approach.

Mookie Betts is the player the Red Sox are going to take care of first. It’s all about where that number comes in at. The Red Sox have the highest payroll in baseball and have shown a willingness to spend money. I would be shocked if Betts plays in another uniform. The Red Sox have a great owner in place and they realize that Betts is the face of the franchise.

The man running the show in Boston is Dave Dombrowski. He’s one of the most aggressive general managers in the history of the sport. This is a man that has a target and does everything in his power to get the man he wants. Trade for Chris Sale? No problem, blow the prospect package out of the water? Retain Nate Eovaldi? Oh, yeah. That was easy. Dombrowski faced a similar situation in Detroit and really overpaid Miguel Cabrera. Either way, Mookie loves Boston and will give the Sox a chance to match any offer in free agency and have access to work out an extension prior to free agency.

If you think there’s a chance Betts leaves Boston, I wouldn’t count on it. The number his eventual contract comes in at is another discussion. It will depend on his performance over the next two years. If he can repeat his AL MVP numbers from 2018, he probably eclipses Mike Trout’s $430 million mark. If he doesn’t, it probably comes in south of that. Either way, it’s a long ways away to worry about right now.

For now, the Red Sox have the best roster in baseball. It’s not just Betts that they have to worry about keeping. Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, (JD Martinez if he opts out) and Xander Bogaerts hit the market next year. I would guess they will try to keep Sale and Bogaerts but who knows? The good news is that Pablo Sandoval’s contract finally comes off the books after 2019 so they will have more financial resources to work with.