Mookie Betts appeared to injure his hand during Monday’s exhibition game, but Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would eventually relay all was well with the 2018 American League MVP. Roberts added it would be Betts’ decision on whether he wanted to play Tuesday.
He somewhat curiously was not in the lineup for the Dodgers’ exhibition finale against the L.A. Angels. Come Wednesday afternoon, it became known there was perfect reason for that. The Dodgers announced the signing of Betts to a 12-year contract extension that runs through the 2032 season.
The team did not release financial terms of the agreement, which is said to be worth $365 million. It surpasses the contract extension Mike Trout signed with the Angels, and with a $65 million signing bonus, set an MLB record in that category as well, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
Combined with the one-year, $27 million contract he’s currently playing out, Betts’ total comes to 13 years and $392 million. The deal tops the previous extension record of $360 million signed by Mike Trout and includes a record $65 million signing bonus.
“Today is obviously a very exciting day for the Dodgers organization as well as all of our incredible fans,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said during a videoconference. “I think when you’re making an investment of this magnitude, you’re not just betting on a player’s ability. You’re also betting on the person.
“With that, we couldn’t be more comfortable than to make that bet on Mookie Betts. Obviously he’s an extraordinary talent. Mookie can impact the game in every facet, but I think that’s really stood out to us in our couple months being around him is the work ethic and the burning desire to get better on a daily basis.
“I think the tone he will set and that standard for the young players that are in our clubhouse now and also the ones that will come up in the future, will leave an indelible mark on this organization. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Betts voiced a similar sentiment, praising the Dodgers organization top to bottom and saying he looked forward to winning multiple World Series and finishing his career in L.A.
Betts reportedly rejected multiple contract extension offers from the Boston Red Sox last season, with some reported to be in excess of $300 million. The inability to reach an agreement and 27-year-old entering the final of his contract served as impetus for a trade.
Earlier this month, Betts said he did not regret rejecting those offers despite the upcoming free agency class likely being impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Like I said, the market isn’t what I was worried about,” he reiterated Wednesday. “It’s just fair value. That’s been my No. 1 thing for my whole career, is just the value. That’s it. Once we got to that point, being somewhere I love being, it matched just perfect.”
The total value of Betts’ contract with the Dodgers is trumped only by the 12-year, $426.5 million pact Trout received upon signing his extension with the Angels in March 2019.
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