Mookie Betts’ long-term future remains a mystery.
Although the Red Sox have been effusive in their praise for the All-Star right fielder, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy acknowledged Wednesday that Boston has not yet discussed a contract extension with Betts this offseason, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
Betts is entering the final year of his contract, making him eligible to test free agency next offseason, and thus there has been growing speculation as to whether the Red Sox might consider trading the 27-year-old this winter. He’s projected to earn close to $30 million in 2019, and the Red Sox would like to cut their payroll to under $208 million before the 2020 campaign, if possible.
“I’m sure we’ll have conversations at the appropriate time,” Kennedy said of Betts, per Cotillo.
Betts is coming off another excellent season, batting .295 with 29 home runs, 80 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .915 OPS. He also secured his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award, further cementing his case as one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball.
“We love Mookie Betts,” Kennedy told Cotillo. “He’s such a special player and such a special person. We’ll continue to have conversations with him. He’s under club control and we’ll see what happens this offseason. We’ve engaged in discussions with him and his representatives in the past and we’ll continue to engage with them. We’ll see where it all takes us.”
The Red Sox recently hired Chaim Bloom as their new chief baseball officer after parting ways with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in September. Bloom will have a full plate in his first offseason at the helm, with Betts’ situation perhaps being the Red Sox’s top priority.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports