Boston's Mookie Betts says he expects to become free agent


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Don’t expect AL MVP Mookie Betts to agree to a long-term contract with the Boston Red Sox before he can become a free agent in late 2020.

Despite Mike Trout’s $432 million, 12-year agreement with the Los Angeles Angels, Nolan Arenado’s $260 million, eight-year deal with the Colorado Rockies and Alex Bregman’s pending $100 million, six-year contract with the Houston Astros, Betts is content to remain on track for testing the market.

“That’s exactly what I expect,” he said Wednesday, the day after Trout’s deal became widely known. “Didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent. So, it’s just one of those things where you just got to go out and play. Can’t worry about the economics of the game right now. They have to take care of what they have to take care of. I’m going to take care of what I have to take care of. But the common thing is to win a World Series, and I think that’s definitely what we both want to do.”

Manny Machado joined the San Diego Padres as a free agent on a $300 million, 10-year deal while Bryce Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies for $330 million over 13 seasons.

Betts, 26, one of the best players in baseball since making his major league debut in 2014, has a $20 million, one-year contract and is eligible for arbitration again next winter.

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“I’m under no pressure to do anything,” Betts said. “It’s OK for two sides to disagree. That’s perfectly fine. It’s normal. I got two more years, going to make the best of them. Got to worry about Year 1 right here. I’m going out and doing my best to help the team win, and also next year. It’s just one of those things where it’s all right to disagree.”

Betts said he loves Boston and playing for the Red Sox. But he also has other things in mind.

“I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold and all those type of things,” he said. “But it definitely doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value.

“Everybody values different things — what do you value, where you’re going to be in five years.

“I definitely don’t pay that much attention to it that far in the future. I kind of worry about what’s going on now and just being treated fairly. I think that’s just kind of the main thing.

“The biggest thing in my mind is just to be treated fairly.”


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