May 27, 2019
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AL MVP Betts agrees to $20 million, 1-year deal with Red Sox

Mark J. Terrill | AP
Mark J. Terrill | AP
Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts rounds the bases after a home run during the sixth inning in Game 5 of the World Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Los Angeles.

BOSTON — AL MVP Mookie Betts and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox agreed to a $20 million, one-year contract, a raise of $9.5 million that was for a few hours the highest for an arbitration-eligible player.

Betts was surpassed later Friday by New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, who got a raise from $7.4 million to $17 million.

The Red Sox reached deals with all nine players eligible for arbitration ahead of Friday’s scheduled swap of salary figures. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts got a $12 million contract and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. got $8.55 million.

After beating the Red Sox in arbitration last offseason, the 26-year-old Betts led the major leagues in batting average (.346) and slugging percentage (.640) and was second in on-base average (.438). He also had 84 extra-base hits, including 32 home runs, and stole 30 bases. He also won his third straight Gold Glove.

Betts can also make more in award bonuses. He is eligible for free agency after the 2020 World Series.

The right fielder, who started his career at second base and spent part of one season with the Portland Sea Dogs in 2014, has a career .303 average with the Red Sox along with 110 home runs and 390 RBIs.

After the 2020 season, he will be eligible for free agency.

All-purpose player Brock Holt ($3,575,000), pitchers Matt Barnes ($1.6 million), Eduardo Rodriguez ($4.3 million) and Brandon Workman ($1,150,000) and catchers Sandy Leon ($2,475,000) and Blake Swihart ($910,000) also reached agreements. Pitcher Steven Wright got a deal for $1,375,000 on Thursday night.



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