Mookie Betts doesn't expect extension before free agency

Rob Bradford
March 20, 2019 - 10:37 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mookie Betts certainly doesn't sound like a player who is in a rush to duplicate Mike Trout's path.

Talking to the media Wednesday morning, Red Sox outfielder offered his thoughts on Trout's $430 million agreement, including how he views his own situation. Betts was in line to become a free agent in the same class as the Angels outfielder. He is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season, a landing spot it appears he might be planning on reaching.

"I didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent. It’s just one of those things where you’ve just got to go out and play," he said. "You can’t worry about the economics of the game right now. They have to take care of what they have to take care of and I have to take care of what I have to take care of. The common thing is to win a World Series and I think it’s something we definitely both want to do."

Betts confirmed the report from the New York Post that he was offered an eight-year, $200 million extension following the 2017 season, chalking up the decision not to sign as just one of few times he and the Red Sox front office didn't financially see eye to eye.

"I’m under no pressure to do anything. It’s OK for two sides to disagree. It’s perfectly fine," he said. "It’s normal. Like I said, I’ve got two more years. I’m going to make the best of them. I’ve got to work on Year 1 right here, go out and do my best to help the team win. Also next year. It’s one of those things where it’s alright to disagree. ..  It’s OK. Talks all those type of things. Nothing bad. I love the front office. They’ve done a great job with everything, putting a great team together.

"There’s been a couple of disagreements and then we agreed this year. Just with the talks and those type of things. Just negotiations. That’s part of it."

On Trout contract: "We’re all different players but we have accomplished some of the same things. Definitely, our values are close to the same but it’s not all the same with the different variables."

On understanding the landscape: "I’m well aware of what is going on and what could potentially go on but right now I have to take care of baseball and I’ve got 24 other guys I have to go out and get ready for. That’s definitely first and foremost."

On how he views Boston: "I love it here in Boston. It’s a great spot. I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold and all those type of things. But it doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value."

On what he is prioritizing: "I just worry about what’s going on now. Just being treated fairly. That’s kind of the main thing. The biggest thing in my mind is to just be treated fairly."

On how the importance of keeping this group together: "I’m not sure. That’s above my head. Like I said, I just want to be treated fairly. Everybody does. I don’t think that’s tough to ask. There are a lot of guys coming up and they have to do whatever they need to do to construct a good team. If I’m a part of it that much better, if I’m not I completely understand. It’s just the business of the game."

On being open to future contract proposals: "Why not? You should definitely keep your ears open and see what is said. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to agree on or take whatever is given. Like I said, I love it here. I think this is great place to be to spend your career here. But that doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short."

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