MLB Trade Rumors released their ninth annual salary arbitration projections for all 30 major league clubs pertaining to the 2020 season earlier Wednesday, and according to their initial model, the Red Sox have 12 arbitration-eligible players.
As indicated above, All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts is projected to earn a record-setting $27.7 million in his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent for the first time next winter.
Since about the time the Sox were eliminated from postseason contention last month, most of the attention regarding the club has turned to what the future holds for Betts.
The recently turned 27-year-old has established himself as one of, if not the best corner outfielder in all of baseball and appears set to test the free agency waters in 2020.
That said, the Red Sox would surely like to keep Betts in Boston beyond next season and have made a handful of extension offers in order to make that happen. There seems to be this notion that Betts does not want to play in Boston even though he has shut that speculation down himself several times.
With how unlikely the chances of Betts agreeing to a contract extension before hitting the open market seem, a trade involving the 2018 American League MVP have come into question.
A player of Betts’ caliber has the ability to replenish Boston’s farm system to a certain extent if that is the direction they so choose, but he is also not a player you come across everyday either.
In regard to analytics, Betts’ has accumulated the second-most fWAR in all of baseball since the start of the 2015 season (35.4), trailing only Mike Trout (44.2) over that time period.
I understand that the Red Sox are hoping to get under the $208 million luxury tax threshold for next season, which would require cutting a serious amount of payroll, but if you are still trying to compete for a postseason spot, or you are telling your fans that anyway, then I just do not see how you can deal a player who makes your team seriously better.
Anyway, I kind of went on a rant there, so here are the rest of the Red Sox’ arbitration projections, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors:
- Jackie Bradley Jr. – $11 milliom
- Sandy Leon – $2.8 million
- Chris Owings – $3.0 million
- Mookie Betts – $27.7 million
- Brandon Workman – $3.4 million
- Steven Wright – $1.5 million
- Eduardo Rodriguez – $9.5 million
- Matt Barnes – $3.0 million
- Heath Hembree – $1.6 million
- Andrew Benintendi – $4.9 million
- Marco Hernandez – $700K
- Gorkys Hernandez – $1.0 million
Out of the names above, some are likely to get non-tendered, while others like Andrew Benintendi and Marco Hernandez are entering arbitration for the first time in their careers and will see decently significant raises in pay.