Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
On the eve of Opening Day, the Los Angeles Dodgers locked up their newly-acquired superstar, Mookie Betts, to a 12-year contract extension that is worth $365 million and runs through the 2032 season.
The Dodgers acquired Betts in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox just before the start of Spring Training. One reason he was traded was because of Boston’s desire to get below the luxury tax threshold and the two sides not being able to an agreement in their own contract extension talks.
Despite everything Betts accomplished with the Red Sox, including winning a World Series, an American League MVP Award and being named to four All-Star teams, he will spend the rest of his career on the opposite side of the country in Los Angeles.
When discussing Betts’ contract extension in an interview on WEEI Radio, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said he is happy for the team’s former star, although he also took a shot at Dodger fans for celebrating the extension:
“First of all, I’m happy. He’s always going to be a part of our team. He’s a World Series champion and he’s a great guy. I’m delighted he made that deal. We, as you all know, did try on a number of occasions to make a deal with Mookie. It was his desire to test free agency.
… When people are partying in Los Angeles, I just want to remind Los Angeles — because you know I come from Los Angeles and I spend the winters there — that in the last 20 years, Los Angeles has won zero World Series and the Red Sox have won four. So I’ve got nothing to be complaining about regarding our past. We think we made the right decision at the time.”
Werner also cautioned that deals of his length rarely ever work out as planned:
“It’s always difficult to trade a talented player of Mookie’s caliber, but let’s revisit this conversation in 12 years. That’s a very, very long-term deal for a team to swallow. You guys know as well as I do that the history of long-term deals is checkered at best. We made what we thought was a generous offer, but for us, it’s time to turn the page.”
While Werner is correct that those types of contracts haven’t always worked out in the past, that is what it takes to lock up a 27-year-old player who is one of the best in all of baseball and also just entering his prime.
The Red Sox discussed an extension with Betts in the past, so they knew what it would take, but ultimately moved in another direction, leading to the trade to the Dodgers.
Betts excited to spend remainder of career with Dodgers
When the Dodgers acquired Betts, he was in the final year of his contract, so there were no long-term assurances. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with L.A. though, where he said he is excited to finish out his career.
“It’s obviously a special day. It’s what I’ve been working for my whole life. My family has been a part of this, my parents, everybody has been part of this whole thing,” Betts said in his first press conference after signing.
“This is the day we’ve been dreaming about and for it to come true is definitely a blessing. Super happy to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career. This is just an amazing opportunity that I’ll never forget.”
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