According to Jon Heyman’s latest reports, the agreement is for 12 years and $350 million on top of the $27 million salary that Betts is receiving this year. The average annual value of the deal calculates to just over $31.6 million per season.
As far as the richest, active contracts go in the majors, the $377 million promised to the 27-year-old Betts would be the second-highest deal, landing him smack dab in between Mike Trout‘s $426.5 million and Bryce Harper‘s $330 million.
The news initially surfaced in a tweet on Wednesday by Lou Merloni of WEEI FM 93.7 at around 10:00 a.m. Eastern time. Heyman backed Merloni’s information shortly thereafter.
Fans of the Dodgers obviously knew the team was pursuing a long-term deal with Betts, but most never guessed it would happen so quickly.
From the moment that Betts landed in Los Angeles last winter, front-office boss Andrew Friedman made it no secret how much he coveted the superstar outfielder long before he orchestrated the biggest blockbuster of the offseason.
Said Friedman of Betts, “he embodies everything we value in a position player.”
One of the most interesting comments from Friedman came in February when he was a guest on Sirius XM’s MLB Network Radio. Friedman explained that he started working Chaim Bloom on Betts’ availability even before Bloom was officially named the Boston general manager last fall.
“It’s been a long road,” Friedman said. “Even when I was talking to Chaim when he was interviewing with the Red Sox, I was getting in my Mookie comments to him if he got the job. It took him a little while to get his arms wrapped around everything.”
Coincidentally, Bloom worked for Friedman during his days in Tampa.
What’s more, Friedman confessed that he spent a significant amount of time inquiring about Betts with Boston’s former president of baseball ops, Dave Dombrowski. When asked by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times if they made progress, Friedman said, “The Red Sox won a bunch of games in a row and they stopped the discussions.”
Betts last year slashed .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI for the Red Sox, primarily hitting in the leadoff position. His efforts tallied him a 6.6 fWAR, good enough for fifth-best in the American League.
Betts’ benchmark campaign came in 2018 when he slashed a monstrous .346/438/.640 with 47 doubles, 32 long balls and 80 RBI alongside 30 swiped bags, earning him American League Most Valuable Player honors.
Once finalized, the extension would take Betts through his age 40 season.
Update: Dodgers make Betts signing official, per a statement released by the team on Wednesday afternoon.