Mookie (Money Bags) Betts
Last month, Mookie Betts signed a 13-year extension worth a whopping $380 million dollars. Yup that’s right Red Sox fans, Mookie is retiring as a Los Angeles Dodger. Heartbreaking stuff. But today I’m not here to talk about how bad this signing is for the Boston Red Sox and their fan base because I already did that (click here to read my thoughts).
Wow, just wow. With that extension Betts became the third highest paid athlete in the history of sports, and he deserved it too. Mookie Betts has been an all-star the past four seasons, finished in the top-10 for MVP voting too; was a runner-up for the award in 2016, and won the American League MVP in 2018. Yes, I know that was a very simple way to tell you how amazing he is.
Mookie had a record setting 2018 season where he led the league in runs, batting average with a .346, in slugging percentage with .640. He also hit 32 home runs, took home a silver slugger, ML Player of the Year, a batting title, All-Star selection, Gold Glove, and won the World Series with the 108-win Boston Red Sox (who didn’t cheat).
He followed that up in 2019 by having a line of .295/.391/.524. He also hit 29 home runs, 176 hits, 80 RBIs, and led the league in runs again with 135. Since that’s a down year for a generational talent like him the Dodgers only felt it was right to make a move and sign him to an extension.
Now before I talk about the Dodgers’ future I’ve got to say: I thought Mookie would at least test free agency. He hadn’t played a game with the team yet and wasn’t bound to play a full season. I also thought there was a chance he would pull an Aroldis Chapman and re-sign with the Red Sox in free agency, cucking the Dodgers in the process. Sadly that didn't happen, and I have to swallow that pill to keep moving.
Now for a burning hot take...
If the Dodgers don’t win a World Series in the next five years they will become the biggest failure of a franchise since the Buffalo Bills in the 90s. Not only did they sign Mookie and paired him up with the reigning NL MVP, Cody Bellinger, until at least 2023; but they’ve got a heavy load of young players with crazy amounts of talent.
Some of those names include Corey Seager, Walker Buehler, Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Will Smith, Brusdar Graterol, Julio Urias, and loads more in their seemingly endless farm system. They also have future Hall-of-Fame talent in Clayton Kershaw, and loads of talented veterans like Kenley Jansen, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and others.
The biggest worry in their future, free agency. After this season alone the Dodgers have six players entering free agency after the 60-game season, including Justin Turner and Joc Pederson (who was supposed to be on the Angels right now if the original Red Sox-Dodgers-Twins trade didn’t fall through). Some of the big names I mentioned earlier have contracts ending by 2025.
Cody Bellinger’s contract ends after his last three years of arbitration in 2024. Kershaw, Jansen, and Seager all enter free agency in 2022. Max Muncy is a FA in 2024, and Walker Buehler can walk in 2025.
The Dodgers have a lot of decisions to make in the next coming years. Can they win a World Series in that time?