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Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox settle for $20 million

The BoSox and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts avoid arbitration, per reports, settling on $20 million

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox have avoided arbitration by settling on a one year deal for $20 million, per multiple reports. Betts, who made $10,500,000 in 2018 in his first year of arbitration eligibility, was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to end up at $18.7 million after winning the 2018 American League MVP Award while slashing .346/.438/.640 for the World Champion Red Sox.

Today is the deadline for teams and players to either settle arbitration cases or submit their proposed arbitration figures, so there is expected to be a large number of settlements today. Betts, however, is a case of note given that he’s the most accomplished player, other than arguably Nolan Arenado, who is arbitration-eligible, and his settlement helps set the standard for other top players going forward.

Many teams are expected to go with a “file-and-trial” strategy, which means that, once numbers are exchanged, they will cut off negotiations and go to a hearing in February in front of an arbitration panel, where the panel must pick either the team’s number or the player’s number for a 2019 salary. The Rangers have just two arbitration-eligible players currently — Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara — and the team is reportedly working with representatives for each player to try to settle prior to today’s filing deadline.

While Jon Daniels has not explicitly said whether the Rangers would go to arbitration with Mazara and/or DeShields if a settlement isn’t reached today, he mentioned yesterday that the team’s philosophy generally isn’t file-and-trial.