In the Godfather, there is a famous line that says; It’s business, nothing personal. This winter, the Red Sox, and their star outfielder Mookie Betts had to argue how much he is worth in his first go around via the arbitration process. Betts won his case against the Red Sox and will bank $10.3 million in his first year under arbitration. Betts is under team control until after the 2020 season but as of now there Betts is just focused on the upcoming season.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here, for sure,” said Betts. “Now that 2018 is here I can focus on this calendar year, and next year we can focus there. Right now I’m just worried about 2018.”
Did arbitration bother Mookie Betts? ???????? pic.twitter.com/U035XyoL0l
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) February 15, 2018
Obviously, the Red Sox would love to keep Mookie past the 2020 season. As of now, it looks like extension talks will have to wait until after the 2018 season. Betts talked to reporters down at spring training and maintained the fact that he loves Boston and nothing has changed with his love for the team.
“There were no hard feelings, nothing wrong, I love these guys. Nothing changed. I’m just going to continue to go out and play and have my same relationship that I always have.”
Betts’ role will look a little different in 2018 as manager Alex Cora has envisioned him becoming his George Springer at the leadoff spot in the lineup. Betts, 25, is Boston’s most important player who sets the tone for the Red Sox and also makes a ton of great plays in the field as well. He has led the Majors in defensive runs saved the past two years.
Expectations are high again in Boston after winning the AL East in back-to-back years. Betts knows that winning 93 games simply isn’t good enough in this town. New manager Alex Cora and internal improvements from Betts and the rest of the young core in Boston will decide their fate in 2018.