MLB Rumors: Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are close on a contract extension, according to former Boston Red Sox player turned Boston radio personality Lou Merloni. Merloni is saying that the deal is 10+ years at $350-400 million.
Now, its worth noting that this is not coming from a Jon Heyman or a Jeff Passan or a Ken Rosenthal, the national guys who tend to be the ones to break these huge deals, nor even a local Dodgers writer. Merloni isn’t Incarcerated Bob, of course, but he’s also not someone who has a solid reputation for getting this sort of thing right, and I wouldn’t just assume that because he says it is so that its happening.
That being said, Merloni is also fairly plugged in in Boston, and with Opening Day looming, if the Dodgers and Betts were going to get a deal done, now is when it would happen. $350-400 million over 10+ years is probably less than I would have guessed Betts would get — but it is also more than what Boston was reportedly offering him, and it may be that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty that that has created, has Betts less inclined to roll the dice this offseason.
The Dodgers acquired Betts this offseason, along with David Price and cash, from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Jeter Downs, Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong. The deal was originally a three-way deal, with Boston getting Brusdar Graterol from Minnesota and the Twins getting Kenta Maeda from Los Angeles, but Boston was spooked by Graterol’s medicals. After a week of the deal being in limbo, the Dodgers made it a pair of two-way trades rather than a three-way deal, getting Graterol from Minnesota and keeping him while sending Downs to Boston in Graterol’s place.
Absent a contract extension, Betts is slated to be a free agent at the end of the season.
UPDATE — The Betts/Dodgers extension talks are being corroborated by other reporters, and it sounds like the expectation is that a deal is going to get done. The numbers are reportedly 10 years and in the $350 million range.
UPDATE II — Jeff Passan is saying that the total deal, including the 2020 season, would be 13 years, $380M.
UPDATE III — Jeff Passan reports that there’s an agreement between Betts and the Dodgers on a 12 year, $365 million extension, with a $65 million signing bonus.