Mookie Betts unfazed by Manny Machado deal

Rob Bradford
February 19, 2019 - 1:56 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mookie Betts said at least season's All-Star Game he would be paying attention to the contracts garnered by both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. For good reason. Whatever those two superstars ended up with would help set the bar for when Betts became eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

Well, Tuesday Betts got his first hint at what life might be shaping up like.

At first, Betts' reaction suggested Machado's agreement of $300 million over 10 years wasn't an apples to apples situation.

"I mean, I think we're different players so obviously it's going to be a different time, so I don't want to speak on anybody else's free agency," Betts said. "I've just gotta worry about my own."

But then came the reality that Machado leaves a guy like Betts. As important as it is for a player to maximize their value, taking care of those who will be in similar situations -- like the reigning American League MVP -- is also right up there in terms of contractual priorities.

"It's not just about me," Betts said. "The guys behind me, you want to do things for them. As players, we're all kind of one. We play the game. You just have to kind of pass the baton to the next guy and think about their family."

The Machado signing was also understandably on the radar of Xander Bogaerts, who will be eligible for free agency after this coming season.

"I mean, I don't see how it's bad for any other one. Any other player. I think that helps everyone," said the Red Sox shortstop. "Good for him, man. He stood out long. He was one of the main guys that stood out and I'm assuming that he got the deal he wanted."