Red Sox, Betts avoid arbitration with $20M deal

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2019

The Boston Red Sox and reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts settled on a $20-million salary for 2019 on Friday, avoiding arbitration, a source told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Jon Heyman of FanCred and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet were first to report the agreement.

Betts' deal includes $400,000 in added incentives, according to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale.

Rob Carr  Getty Images
Rob Carr Getty Images

That's a huge raise for Betts, who won his arbitration case against the Red Sox last season to secure a $10.5 million salary for 2018.

Mookie Betts smiles as he high-fives teammates after scoring a run in the second inning during a Boston Red Sox game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 14, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Betts is in his second year of arbitration and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, where he should be in line for a hefty payday. However, should the two sides fail to agree to a multi-year extension next offseason-Betts's last arbitration-eligible season before reaching free agency-the three-time All-Star could command an astronomical salary in his final year of team control; at the very least, Betts appears poised to eclipse-if not shatter-the $23MM record set by Josh Donaldson one year ago, which now marks the highest one-year arbitration salary ever.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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