Dodgers Rumors: Mookie Betts Contract Extension Paying Until 52 Years Old

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On the eve of Opening Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced a historic 12-year contract extension with Mookie Betts. The deal, worth a reported $365 million, is the second-largest in Major League Baseball history behind only Mike Trout’s 12-year, $426.5 million extension with the L.A. Angels.

Betts’ extension will take him through his age-39 season. His mega deal reportedly does not include an opt-out or no-trade clause, meaning that in all likelihood, he’ll spend the rest of his career in a Dodgers uniform.

Betts also received a record $65 signing bonus. However, nearly a third of his total salary will come in the form of deferred payments.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, $115 million of Betts’ salary won’t be paid to him until he nears his 52nd birthday in 2044:

Mookie Betts will not receive all of his money from his $365 million, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers until he is approaching his 52nd birthday in 2044, according to contract details obtained by The Associated Press.

His deal includes $115 million in deferred payments. If he is traded, though, the deferrals would be eliminated and the money would be due in each season the contract covers.

Deferrals are common in massive contracts such as what Betts received. The Dodgers reportedly offered Gerrit Cole an eight-year contract with deferred payments this past offseason before he signed with the New York Yankees.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman explained the logic behind this strategy a few years ago, noting the long-term benefits of spreading out money over a long period of time.

Betts rounding into form to slow start

Betts was among those in the Dodgers lineup who got off to a bit of a slow start this season, then he was hampered by a sore middle finger on his left hand. He’s been improved since returning, and explained the early-season struggles were in some part due to not being able to sufficiently work on his swing because of MLB’s health and safety protocols..

“It’s kind of tough. With everything going, it’s hard to get enough work in,” Betts said. “That’s the rough part that people don’t see. But we’ve got to find a way. It’s like that for everybody, so it’s not an excuse. Just have to find a way to get it done.”

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