Red Sox renew Betts' contract for near-record amount

By Bob Hille 3 March 2017 208
Red Sox renew Betts' contract for near-record amount

The Boston Red Sox signed MLB All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts to a new deal on Thursday.

According to reports, the 24-year-old's contract is worth $950,000 for 2017, the second-highest one-year of its kind in MLB history.

Only Mike Trout's $1million deal from the Los Angeles Angels in 2014 was bigger for a player with two-plus years of MLB service but not yet eligible for arbitration.

Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, players with under three years' service time have no leverage in negotiations. If such a player, like Betts, is unable to reach a contract agreement with his team, then he can opt to have his contract renewed, perhaps as a way of showing he is unhappy with the team's salary offer.

However, Betts - a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner in 2016 - maintained that there are no hard feelings from the two sides not being able to reach a mutual agreement on a contract figure.

"Nothing bad, no animosity," Betts said. "I'm here to play baseball now. Both sides didn't agree and that's OK. That's part of business. But now we have to switch the focus to baseball.

"When you just stand for something, you kind of stand for it. I think that's kind of my view on it. Like I said, we didn't agree on that but I love everybody here and that's never going to change, and I'm going to play the same way I play any other time."

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski put the decision on Betts: "That was his choice, and we just couldn't come up with a number that he thought was the right number for him."

Betts is coming off a breakout 2016 season in which he hit .318/.363/.534 with 31 homers, 113 RBIs and 26 stolen bases and, interestingly, finished second to Trout in American League (AL) MVP voting.

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