Mookie Betts Extension

Highlights:

  • MLB ruled that players will not lose service time.
  • Mookie Betts career numbers are Trout like
  • Future Dodger Core
  • Breaking down the numbers
  • Betts is worth $500 million, but that’s not our offer

If the season is cancelled, what was once the best move of the offseason, will turn into the most disastrous. First off, lets look at Betts projected stats and history to remind everyone why the Dodgers shipped Verdugo, Downs, and Wong for one year of this guy.

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(WAR is only offense. With defense Betts has a career total of 41.8 WAR)

Outside of Mike Trout, you’re looking at the best statistical player in baseball. He’s already 22nd among active leaders in WAR, and in less seasons than anyone even close to him. (Mike Trout put up 47.7 WAR in his first six seasons)

As for the names around him, that’s some good company. All of whom are past their prime. He’s been consistent every year. He’s never produced less than 6.1 WAR in a full season. Betts has 9 to 14 years left of playing, barring injury and assuming his bat stays potent enough to become a DH. (It’s coming whether you want it or not NL). Conservatively, we’ll say he has 5 more years of being a top 10 player. No matter his bat, his speed and defense are elite. But once those start to decline, so will Mookie overall.

We don’t think we need to see anything more. The idea of us losing Mookie before we ever get him is too much. He has thrived in his trade to LA so far and deserves an extension. But how long and how much should LA give him? And more realistically how much would Friedman’s office?

THE FUTURE DODGER CORE

Sure it’s easy to say throw money at Betts, but we also need to consider how he fits into the core of the future dodgers. Our core relies around Buehler, May, Urias, Graterol, Bellinger, Seager, and Lux. It’s not easy to find talent like these guys. And the good news is the first FA is Seager in 22 (along with Kershaw who hopefully will take a discount to stay). Sure arbitration players will probably get hefty raises but we our lucky to have some of the deepest pockets in the game. And this core is set to be undervalued until at least 2024. With that being said, we think there’s plenty of room for Betts.

THE NUMBERS

The Dodgers offered Cole $300 mil / 8 years. As far as we know, thats the largest contract Friedman has ever offered. Beyond that, he’s 2 years older than Betts.

On average, Cole produces 4.825 WAR when he pitches a full season. If he stayed healthy for all 8 years, with the same average, he’d produced 38.6 WAR. Roughly $7.8 mil per 1 WAR produced.

We’ll skip the steps this time and tell you that if Betts were to maintain his averages over the next 8 years he’d produce 63.04 WAR. If we were to pay him the same as Cole per 1 WAR produced, it would be $492 mil / 8 years. Or $61.5 mil / year. That’s right, but again that number only comes from the offer they were willing to give Cole. The Angels gave Trout $430 mil / 12 years and it’s the best bargain in baseball. It’s also the reason the Dodgers would never have to pay that much.

Keeping in mind Betts is already owed $27 mil (or whatever MLB pro-rates it to) this year. But we’ll assume that any extension would be prorated the same way. Also time is a players worse enemy and its reasonable ti believe

OUR OFFER

5 years – $225,000,000 – Average annual salary of $45 million. (minus the 2020 pro-rate) Opt-out on years 3 and 4.

4 year – $180,000,000 if season is cancelled.

We make Mookie the highest paid player in baseball, and frees him up around when we have to pay our younger core of Bellinger, Buehler, and Urias. As for the value. And even though this is a monster per year contract it’d be around $7.5 Mil per 1 WAR produced. Right in line with what they were willing to give Cole. Not to mention Betts has been an ironman throughout his career and has way less risk involved.

We arguably get Betts for his most valuable years, while the opt-outs still give him a chance to sign another massive contract for longer if he so chooses. Giving the Dodgers more payroll to extend the in-house studs.

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