Lou Merloni: Mookie asking price is 12 years, $420 million.

Would you give Mookie a 12 years, $420 million contract?

  • Yes

  • No


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soxhop411

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According to Lou Merloni, the Red Sox have made extension offers to Betts in each of the last three offseasons, with last year's proposal coming at 10 years, $300 million. Betts, however, countered with an asking price of 12 years, $420 million.

now that we have some info on what his asking price is. Time to put your money where your mouth is and say if you would give him that contract
 

Max Power

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If he can get that, more power to him. But there's a real possibility there could be $200 million lit on fire at the back end of that kind of contract.
 

shaggydog2000

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I don't know if I believe Lou Merloni has the complete inside dope on this one. I'm sure Lou knew exactly what Nomar got offered and where he liked his luggage to be placed in his hotel room, but beyond that...
 

IpswichSox

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Hopefully this further confirmation of Mookie repeatedly turning down legitimate offers and countering by asking for $420 million will calm down some of the "I'm never going to Fenway again" gloom and doom on this board, in some cases by otherwise sensible posters. I get it -- we're all fans at the end of the day, and it's OK to react emotionally. But some of the comments on here the last few days have been crazy.
 

Rovin Romine

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Assuming it's true, it's a counter, so the middle might be 11 years, $350. He's 26 so that would be through age 37.

I'd say no, especially if we land a good prospect in return.
 

nighthob

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It might also make it easier for LA to make the deal as they know that it will take $35 million/year to lock Mookie up on a long term basis. They certainly have a deep enough system to support the deal long term. Maybe the Yankees make a phone call and help drive the price up.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Hopefully this further confirmation of Mookie repeatedly turning down legitimate offers and countering by asking for $420 million will calm down some of the "I'm never going to Fenway again" gloom and doom on this board, in some cases by otherwise sensible posters.
Which is why it was leaked to Lou Merloni.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Even if we assume Loomer's reporting is accurate, I wouldn't read too much into this - no one expected that the Sox were going to be able to extend Mookie prior to the season, and this number is irrelevant to next offseason because the amount it will take to sign Mookie will be set by the market, not Mookie's unilateral demands.

So although the answer to the poll question is pretty clearly "no," it's more or less a moot point because no team should or would be giving Mookie that kind of money at this point. If this offer is true this is really just another way of Mookie saying "I'm not going to give you even a slight discount before going to free agency" which has been his position all along.
 

Toe Nash

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He wants slightly less than Trout signed at the beginning of last year. Basically they're the same age at the time the contract would be signed (Mookie is one year and two months younger). You can look up their numbers. Trout might be the best player ever but Mookie is...really good.

I don't think he'll get quite that much guaranteed on the open market but the AAV seems right to me. I don't think giving him that money prevents them from doing anything they'd otherwise do unless you think the Boston area is going to stop booming or baseball will suddenly become unpopular here. I'd expect to negotiate him to something like 10/350 but if push comes to shove I'd pay him. But I wouldn't buy a baseball team if I wanted to make money.
 
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shaggydog2000

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Even if we assume Loomer's reporting is accurate, I wouldn't read too much into this - no one expected that the Sox were going to be able to extend Mookie prior to the season, and this number is irrelevant to next offseason because the amount it will take to sign Mookie will be set by the market, not Mookie's unilateral demands.

So although the answer to the poll question is pretty clearly "no," it's more or less a moot point because no team should or would be giving Mookie that kind of money at this point. If this offer is true this is really just another way of Mookie saying "I'm not going to give you even a slight discount before going to free agency" which has been his position all along.
He and his agents may have even added on an extra "pay me not to go to free agency" fee. If any of this is true.
 

chawson

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I hate this part.

I can’t exactly say Lou Merloni is lying, but he’s no paragon of credibility and I don’t trust him on this either.

He also says regarding the payroll the last few years: “the team is paying everybody, and honestly, it’s hasn’t worked,” which is ridiculous.
 

RedOctober3829

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I hate this part.

I can’t exactly say Lou Merloni is lying, but he’s no paragon of credibility and I don’t trust him on this either.

He also says regarding the payroll the last few years: “the team is paying everybody, and honestly, it’s hasn’t worked,” which is ridiculous.
Why don't you believe him? Other outlets have reported that the Red Sox have made repeated attempts to sign him and every time he's balked at them. I absolutely don't want to deal him, but I've come around to the fact that it may be what the team needs to do. Deal him and someone else to get under the tax and get ready for the offseason after the '21 season when the FA class is awesome.
 

amfox1

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$35mm per year for ages 27-38 seasons, 2nd highest AAV ever. Hmmm. No thanks.

10+ year/$150+mm contracts (as of 3/20/19)
Bryce Harper, OF, Phillies: 13 years, $330 million (2019-31)
Mike Trout, OF, Angels: 10 years, $360 million (2021-30)
Manny Machado, 3B, Padres: 10 years, $300 million (2019-28)
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins: 13 years, $325 million (2015-27)
Robinson Canó, 2B, Mariners: 10 years, $228.26 million (2014-23)
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: 10 years, $225 million (2014-23)
Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels: 10 years, $240 million (2012-21)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees: 10 years, $275 million (2008-17)
Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees: 10 years, $189 million (2001-10)
Alex Rodriguez, SS, Rangers: 10 years, $252 million (2001-10)

EDIT: contract would be for ages 28-39 seasons since it wouldn't take effect until 2021.
 
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drbretto

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More and more, this feels like a forgone conclusion. It hurts when it happens, but the team will be better for it. If I knew Mookie would repeat 2018 numbers consistently, that's a bargain. But, he did it once. I've seen players do things once. I hope he succeeds, but that's too big a gamble.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm leaning towards thinking the Sox trade him in July when there will presumably be a bidding war among several contending teams willing to trade an overall Top 15 prospect for a (significant) rental.
I'm not seeing a more robust market for him in July versus now. Unless the belief is that some team will have an injury for which 3 months of Mookie would be a perfect replacement, the teams that could use him in July are the same as the ones that could use him now. And acquiring him now comes with not only a full season of his play but also the option of offering a QO next winter. While QO compensation isn't of that much value for the Red Sox (likely a 4th round pick), that may not be the case for another team. The Padres, for example, could get a 1st round pick as compensation (in the 30-40 range).
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I'm curious when the 10/300 offer was. Was it this off season or was it before last year. The article is kind of ambiguous.

If it was before last season, that took some pretty big cajones to turn down and was a fair offer. In this offseason, it's not so much of a risk for Mookie. He knew he would have close to $30 million in his pocket for this year and I presume that can buy a lot of insurance so he's not exactly betting on himself. Still. you would have thought that something in that neighborhood could have gotten it done for a player who is year to year and has to worry about regression or injury.

If it was really 10/300 a year ago and he said no, he's as good as gone. Get what you can get. Hope he stays healthy until the trade deadline.

Freaking sucks. Is what it is.
 

ehaz

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It might also make it easier for LA to make the deal as they know that it will take $35 million/year to lock Mookie up on a long term basis. They certainly have a deep enough system to support the deal long term. Maybe the Yankees make a phone call and help drive the price up.
That's not too outrageous. After losing out on Cole, the Dodgers kept their powder dry. Cole got 9/324 which comes to $36M per. Rendon signed 7/245 which is $35M per. If you sign Mookie for 11 years at the same AAV, Mookie is at $385 to 396. Considering he'll reach FA a year younger, is a safer bet than Cole as a hitter, and has a longer track record of better production than either player, it's not inconceivable that he gets close to ~$400M.
 

brs3

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Why are so many people against this? Do you think it'll handcuff the team for 12 years? Do you honestly believe the top FA in 2025 won't be paid more than this annual average? Likewise,. hypothetically do you think Mookie wouldn't command top FA dollars in 2025? Do you think Mookie won't be that good in years 6-7-etc?

I agree he's gone because this info is being leaked and is the classic engine starter for the Red Sox FO to move someone out. I'd pay the man. I think any team that acquires Mookie Betts will win multiple titles over the next 5 years. There might be a couple teams that could afford him where that is not true.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I think any team that acquires Mookie Betts will win multiple titles over the next 5 years. There might be a couple teams that could afford him where that is not true.
Not sure how you can possibly say this with any confidence for any player in baseball - one of the best players of all time is currently playing in Anaheim and has barely sniffed the postseason, much less won "multiple titles."
 

DeadlySplitter

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I hate this part.

I can’t exactly say Lou Merloni is lying, but he’s no paragon of credibility and I don’t trust him on this either.

He also says regarding the payroll the last few years: “the team is paying everybody, and honestly, it’s hasn’t worked,” which is ridiculous.
hilarious since it worked in 2018. the issue is the likelihood at least 2 of the 3 Sale/Price/Eovaldi deals look like albatrosses.

it's also kind of inevitable you will make mistakes in FA....
 

InstaFace

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I think I hold firm on the 10 years but show a little flexibility in the AAV. 10@$35 and I probably vote yes. I think he should reasonably expect to clear Machado money, but I want no part of a 12-year deal at any price.
 

Merkle's Boner

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I voted no, but I don't really believe that will end up being the deal. One year and maybe $50-60m less and I would definitely consider it. I also don't think trading him now precludes us from signing him after the season.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I agree he's gone because this info is being leaked and is the classic engine starter for the Red Sox FO to move someone out. I'd pay the man. I think any team that acquires Mookie Betts will win multiple titles over the next 5 years. There might be a couple teams that could afford him where that is not true.
the Red Sox have won one title in five+ years with Mookie. How do you rationalize multiple titles from 2020-2024 or 2021-2025?
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I think I hold firm on the 10 years but show a little flexibility in the AAV. 10@$35 and I probably vote yes. I think he should reasonably expect to clear Machado money, but I want no part of a 12-year deal at any price.
This is where I'm at too. I think there definitely is a place where you need to give Mookie a pat on the back and the thanks of a grateful nation, and it probably is only slightly higher than Machado. The Sox do not have the young cheap talent to remain competitive with Mookie taking up the equivalent of 2-3 expensive roster spots. 10/350 is the cap for me, and I will not lock myself in my room and hate the Red Sox forever if they refuse to go higher than that.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I agree he's gone because this info is being leaked and is the classic engine starter for the Red Sox FO to move someone out. I'd pay the man. I think any team that acquires Mookie Betts will win multiple titles over the next 5 years. There might be a couple teams that could afford him where that is not true.
IF... a team acquiring Mookie can win multiple titles over the next 5 years, it'll have to be a team that has enough affordable talent to fill up the other 24 roster spots credibly. The Red Sox aren't that team.

And that's less the fault of DD's trades than it is of DD's and BC's drafts.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
the Red Sox have won one title in five+ years with Mookie. How do you rationalize multiple titles from 2020-2024 or 2021-2025?
Seriously. There is no player in the history of baseball so good that his presence on a roster would be enough to guarantee multiple titles over a 5-year period. Not Ruth, not Bonds, certainly not Mookie. Baseball just isn't like that--which is why I love it so much. It's a very democratic sport. Even the best of the best can only tip the needle so far.

I voted no, because I would not give ANY player a 12-year contract. Or 10, for that matter. I'm not even all that comfortable with 8. Contracts that long are just playing craps with Satan.
 
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Steve Dillard

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$35mm per year for ages 27-38 seasons, 2nd highest AAV ever. Hmmm. No thanks.

10+ year/$150+mm contracts (as of 3/20/19)
Bryce Harper, OF, Phillies: 13 years, $330 million (2019-31)
Mike Trout, OF, Angels: 10 years, $360 million (2021-30)
Manny Machado, 3B, Padres: 10 years, $300 million (2019-28)
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins: 13 years, $325 million (2015-27)
Robinson Canó, 2B, Mariners: 10 years, $228.26 million (2014-23)
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: 10 years, $225 million (2014-23)
Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels: 10 years, $240 million (2012-21)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees: 10 years, $275 million (2008-17)
Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees: 10 years, $189 million (2001-10)
Alex Rodriguez, SS, Rangers: 10 years, $252 million (2001-10)
2 champships? (ARod and Jeter)?
 

FredCDobbs

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Verducci at SI has a great article as always. BTW if you didn't read his book the Yankee Years it is fantastic. A lot of great stuff about the Sox is explored.

Here's his graphic illustrating how Mookie's small size gives many GMs pause about his future and makes him a hard guy to find comps for. Since Raines is the only modern guy here, if his career progresses like Tim Raines' would people be excited or disappointed by that?

Highest OPS+ Through Age 26, Players 5'9'' or Shorter Since 1920
Thru OPS+
1. Mel Ott* 1935 153
2. Paul Waner* 1929 147
3. Mookie Betts 2019 134
T4. Enos Slaughter* 1942 133
T4. Ross Youngs* 1923 133
6. Tim Raines* 1986 132
7. Yogi Berra* 1951 125


To answer the $420 question, probably no, and what a boring answer that is.
 

Cellar-Door

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I probaby wouldn't, but I think it's a perfectly reasonable ask on his part. If you want to prevent him from hearing other teams offers you probably have to overpay. Do I think he gets 12/420 in the open market..... probably not. Do I think he gets at least 2 offers that are 10/300 or better.... yes.
 

chrisfont9

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Here's his graphic illustrating how Mookie's small size gives many GMs pause about his future and makes him a hard guy to find comps for. Since Raines is the only modern guy here, if his career progresses like Tim Raines' would people be excited or disappointed by that?
Disappointed, since Raines tailed off by age 30 (except for a stellar age-32 year). I would hope modern training would allow Mookie to retain his peak-ish value longer than Raines did.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Disappointed, since Raines tailed off by age 30 (except for a stellar age-32 year). I would hope modern training would allow Mookie to retain his peak-ish value longer than Raines did.
If I recall correctly, Rock didn't live the cleanest lifestyle either, FWIW.
 

williams_482

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Mookie for his career has been worth 6.7 WAR per 650 PAs. His current Steamer projection is basically that. Let's assume he maintains that level until he turns 29 and loses 0.5 WAR per season from there on. Over the next 12 years, that would give us 52.9 WAR. At $9M per win, an extremely conservative estimate for an average across a 12 year contract, that's $476M.

This sounds crazypants, but he's worth it. The only reason he's not asking for more is that $420 over 12 years is Mike Trout's contract, and Mike Trout is a far superior player (by a good 50% or so) who was willing to be grossly underpaid.
 

shaggydog2000

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If you buy that a WAR is worth $9mil, he has either 37 or 42 career WAR (fWAR or bWAR, respectively), so he's returned between $333 and $378mil in value... in six years.
Which is why star players under their pre-arb and arbitration contracts are worth so much. Doesn't mean he'll be worth the same over the next 6 years. And player aging has changed in the post-steroid era. It looks a lot like it did in the pre-steroid era.
 

amfox1

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Here's my best and final offer - 10 years, $320mm.

$8mm signing bonus (deal signed after opening day - bonus paid in 2020 but counts towards 2021-2030 AAV, raises effective 2020 salary to $35mm)
2021-2026 (age 28-33) - $35mm per year (Betts becomes 10/5 guy during 2024 season)
2027-2030 (age 34-37) - $30mm, $27mm, $24mm, $21mm

Even with a front-loaded contract, there's a pretty good chance the last four years of the contract will be an albatross.
 
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sodenj5

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Mookie has consistently been pointing to wanting to hit free agency and get a fair market value contract.

He’s asking for exactly that. Someone will pay him 400 million on the open market. He’s giving Boston the opportunity to do that without a potential bidding war. He’s clearly unwilling to take a discount or take anything less than top dollar, as is his right to do so.

I say that’s a steep price to pay, but if you’re looking for a top 2 or 3 player in the league, that’s the asking price.
 

chrisfont9

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Mookie for his career has been worth 6.7 WAR per 650 PAs. His current Steamer projection is basically that. Let's assume he maintains that level until he turns 29 and loses 0.5 WAR per season from there on. Over the next 12 years, that would give us 52.9 WAR. At $9M per win, an extremely conservative estimate for an average across a 12 year contract, that's $476M.

This sounds crazypants, but he's worth it. The only reason he's not asking for more is that $420 over 12 years is Mike Trout's contract, and Mike Trout is a far superior player (by a good 50% or so) who was willing to be grossly underpaid.
This. Of course you never know with injuries, but given his track record and body type, he's as good a bet as anyone to age reasonably well, continue providing serious value, and fulfill a mega-contract.
 

chrisfont9

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When people say "he's not worth it" what do they mean? He shouldn't get paid that much? Or he's taking up too large a chunk of the available salary under the LT rules? The former I couldn't care less about; the latter is an issue for now though who knows what the rules will be after the 2021 season.
 

Manramsclan

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I voted yes. I'm out on a limb here, but I think Mookie might by Willie Mays.

I've never seen his equal on a ball-field and his desire to improve and work is unparalleled.

I will be devastated when he is traded.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Verducci at SI has a great article as always. BTW if you didn't read his book the Yankee Years it is fantastic. A lot of great stuff about the Sox is explored.

Here's his graphic illustrating how Mookie's small size gives many GMs pause about his future and makes him a hard guy to find comps for. Since Raines is the only modern guy here, if his career progresses like Tim Raines' would people be excited or disappointed by that?

Highest OPS+ Through Age 26, Players 5'9'' or Shorter Since 1920
Thru OPS+
1. Mel Ott* 1935 153
2. Paul Waner* 1929 147
3. Mookie Betts 2019 134
T4. Enos Slaughter* 1942 133
T4. Ross Youngs* 1923 133
6. Tim Raines* 1986 132
7. Yogi Berra* 1951 125


To answer the $420 question, probably no, and what a boring answer that is.
So comparables like Morgan or Altuve aren’t relevant? Line drawing is always fun. (Apologies if he covered those guys.).

My problem with a long term big $ deal for Mookie IS that there seem to be few guys his size over the past 20 years who have maintained elite production into their mid-30s.