Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels currently stands as baseball’s highest-paid player, but that could change soon with Mookie Betts talking extension with the Dodgers.
Mike Trout had reigned as the highest-paid athlete in sports until that record fell with the Patrick Mahomes extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, Mookie Betts is going to give him a run for his money as MLB’s highest-paid player as well.
As first reported by Lou Merloni of WEEI, former Red Sox outfielder and current Los Angeles Dodger Mookie Betts is nearing an extension with his new ballclub. The deal is said to be for at least ten seasons, as verified by Jeff Passon of ESPN. The question comes as to how much the deal will be for and how quickly they can get it resolved.
Betts was set to enter the winter as the game’s top free agent and seemed intent on testing the market. That was part of the reason the Red Sox were adamant about trading him this past offseason. However, the coronavirus shutdown and resulting financial issues in the game threw a wrench in the works and likely left him more willing to negotiate.
As Angels fans, we’re acutely aware of these negotiations. It isn’t that the Halos were going to be major players in his market. However, as Mike Trout is the current champion of player contracts in the game, we were curious if Betts could surpass his deal.
Trout signed a massive 12-year, $426.5 million deal prior to the 2019 season. That seemed to be fitting for the game’s best player, but could Betts approach that mark?
All signs point to a huge deal, with Mark Feinsand of MLB.com saying it will be at least $350 million over 10 seasons. While a monster deal in its own right, it is still far below Trout’s mark and shows that even in this strange economic environment, teams will still be willing to throw money at superstar players.
Since 2014, Betts is second only to Trout in total fWAR (37.2 to 52.5), while Mike’s 172 wRC+ easily dwarfs that of Mookie’s 135. However, Betts has one thing (actually four) that Trout doesn’t have; a gold glove.
So while Mookie Betts looks to get his big payday, Mike Trout will likely retain his crown as the game’s highest-paid player. He’ll keep it on the mantle right next to his title as the best player in the game.