Dodgers star Mookie Betts could be MLB's next $400M player

The Dodgers traded for Betts without any guarantee that he will re-sign with the team in his final season before free agency

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts is no more than one year away from a massive payday – either with his new team or on the open market as a free agent.

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Betts, 27, was the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade Tuesday between the Dodgers and his former team, the Boston Red Sox. A four-time All-Star selection and the 2018 American League MVP, Betts was awarded a $27 million salary for the 2020 season in arbitration this offseason.

The Dodgers traded for Betts without any guarantee that he will re-sign with the team in his final season before free agency. Betts is projected to sign a 10-year, $351.7 million contract after the 2020 season, according to Spotrac, which calculates a player’s market value based on their age, on-field production and deals awarded to players with similar statistical output.

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A $350 million contract would establish Betts as one of the highest-paid players in U.S. sports, but it may be a conservative estimate. Competition for Betts’ services could push his contract’s value beyond $400 million, ESPN reported.

Only one player in MLB history has signed a contract with a total value in excess of $400 million. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout signed a 13-year contract extension worth $426.5 million prior to the 2019 season.

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Other comparable contracts include Bryce Harper’s deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, worth a cumulative $330 million, and Giancarlo Stanton’s deal with the New York Yankees, worth $325 million.

The Red Sox shipped Betts and starting pitcher David Price to the Dodgers in exchange for prospects, including highly touted outfielder Alex Verdugo.

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Since his MLB debut in 2014, Betts has accounted for 42 wins above replacement – a statistic that measures a player’s contributions on offense and defense relative to a replacement-level player.

Betts hit .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs during the 2019 season.

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