Mookie Betts has emerged as one of baseball’s best players while he’s been a member of the Boston Red Sox.
The reigning American League MVP ended the 2018 season batting .346 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs. Betts also was voted to his third straight All-Star game and capped off the year by celebrating a World Series championship with the Red Sox. He earned a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award for his offensive and defensive efforts as well.
Betts can become a free agent after the 2020 season. That is, of course, if Boston doesn’t sign him to a long-term deal between now and then. But during an appearance on “The Bradofo Sho Podcast,” the outfielder spoke about his future with the Sox, and touched upon the business side of baseball.
“It’s kind of tough as you’re playing you kind of wonder what is going to happen to you as you go through arbitration or as you go through free agency,” Betts said, as transcribed by WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “It’s one of those things you have to find a way to separate the two. Even though this is a business you do have people here that you’re with every day, like your family. You want to go play for them and you want to win with them. You have to find a way to do that but understand that there is a business side to it. You have to find a way to understand.”
Betts added it’s not difficult to deal with despite free agency looming.
“Not really,” he said. “I’m still around the same guys, playing the same game. Obviously, I’m a little older, but that’s the only thing. I’m a year or two older just doing the same thing.”
While Betts’ future isn’t set in stone with the Red Sox, he did say despite Boston having to grow on him initially, he “couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.”
“When I first got here I wasn’t a huge fan of it. I really didn’t like the city that much, but it has definitely grown on me,” Betts said. “Obviously we have great fans and a great fan base. It has definitely grown on me. I love my teammates. The front office, I think they do a good job of putting us in a good spot to succeed. Like I said, I’m with these guys eight out of 12 months and I couldn’t ask for a better group.”
Even with free agency on the horizon, Betts’ focus likely is on the season ahead of him as the Red Sox try to find a groove and get back to their winning ways.