By: Steve Atkinson
Mookie Betts signed a 12 year $365 million deal with the Dodgers Wednesday. Mookie Betts wanted 12 years and $420 million but he didn’t come close to that. The bottom line is Betts didn’t want to play in Boston. You saw that in the way he talked and always saying he’d test the market. The tone in his voice never felt like he loved Boston as Chris Sale did. I think the Red Sox could’ve given Betts $400 million he still would’ve said no. Betts not testing the market and signing with the Dodgers is pretty clear he loves LA and does better than Boston.
Betts spoke to reporters in a video conference from Dodger Stadium saying “I love being here. I love everything about here. I’m here to win some rings and bring championships back to LA. That’s all I’m focused on.” He never once said he loved being in Boston. It was a place he started and grew to an elite player. He wasn’t that good in the 2018 postseason when they won the World Series. It also didn’t help when the Sox gave money to Sale who is out for the next year and a half. Eovaldi who really had just one good postseason. The Sox are still paying half of Price and Sandoval contracts. They didn’t have the money to pay Betts anyway so it wasn’t going to work.
For both sides, it’s for the best. The Sox have great offense even without Betts it’s their pitching that’s awful. Betts will do great in LA and live the high life out there. It’s warmer and doesn’t have to deal with the cold winters. He’s going to a historic franchise like Boston but he can make more money and not have to deal with New England winters.
Betts has great talent but in the postseason he isn’t great. If it’s all about the championships he needs to bat better than .227. He’s got 17 strikeouts, 1 home run in 21 games in the postseason. If he wants to live up to that contract those numbers need to better.
It’s weird how he kept saying he wanted to test free agency, then once he gets to LA he can’t wait to sign long term. I’m sure the pandemic had something to do with it but still, I think both the Sox and Betts will be better off.