Betts, Red Sox settle at record $20M, avoid arbitration

13 January, 2019, 20:58 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • MLB Rumors How Red Sox tried to lower Mookie Betts' salary in arbitration

The prospect of the Red Sox arguing for a lower salary for the MVP victor would have been a particularly unflattering look for the team this year and also serve as a red flag for their chances to come to an agreement on a contract extension for Betts. He made four starts and six relief appearances, went back on the disabled list in late June because of the knee, then returned in September. In just his second year of arbitration eligibility, Betts and the Red Sox avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $20 million salary this year, which is a huge raise over his $10.5 million salary from a year ago. His almost $10 million jump is the highest arbitration raise ever received by a position player.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated following a report from Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that the remaining arbitration-eligible players have all settled on one-year agreements for next season. The two sides went to a hearing haggling over a difference of $3 million, and Betts ultimately won his case and was awarded $10.5 million for the 2018 season. Betts is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2020 season, but the Red Sox are surely going to attempt to work out an extension with him as they'd love to keep their homegrown star.


The Sox have already struck deals with relievers Heath Hembree and Tyler Thornburg to avoid arbitration.

With the three pitchers locked up, the Red Sox now have nine players left: Sandy Leon, Brock Holt, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes, Blake Swihart and Brandon Workman.

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