Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts set an arbitration record Wednesday as he prevailed in his case to earn $10.5 million during the 2018 season, according to multiple reports.
In earning that salary, Betts set a record for the highest salary a first-year arbitration-eligible player has won via a hearing. Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant made $10.85 million in his first year as an arbitration-eligible player this offseason, but the two sides settled prior to reaching arbitration.
The Red Sox had offered the two-time All-Star $7.5 million, but Betts’ camp made a compelling enough case to the three judges that he was deserving of the higher payday. His impending payday this season will be a roughly $9.55 million increase from the 2017 season, when he made $950,000.
Betts has earned MVP votes in each of the past three seasons, and finished second in MVP voting in 2016. Despite another successful season in 2017, his numbers did dip, hitting .264 with 24 home runs while driving in 104 runs.
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