The more time passes the more apparent it is that Mookie Betts did not want to stay in Boston, period. Christian Yelich just signed a nine year deal (including options) for $215 Million to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers.
This isn't a home grown super star. He's only played for the Brew Crew for two years. Unlike Mookie's platitudes about loving Boston, Yelich backs up his words by putting pen to paper.
And this isn't just a straightforward $215 Million deal. According to Bob Nightengale there's significant deferrals involved.
Nightengale also reports there are not only no opt outs, there was never even a discussion about opt outs. Why? Yelich loves playing for the Brewers.
Lou Merloni reported that the Red Sox offered Mookie 10 years and $300 Million two years ago. The Red Sox don't make it a practice to put deferrals into deals. Why the lack of a deal unless Mookie flat out did not want to stay? You might say that Mookie is better than Yelich. Let's compare.
Yelich won the NL MVP two years ago, like Mookie in the AL, then followed it up with a second place finish last year. Where was Mookie in 2019? A distant eighth. Mookie is a year younger, but Yelich is more consistent. Mookie has Yelich defensively, Yelich has hit 19 more home runs over the past two years. It all adds up to very comparable players.
And keep this in mind. If Mookie had taken the deal after 2018 the Red Sox might not have, and probably wouldn't have, signed Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi. It's not his fault that the Red Sox made some bad decisions. But he could've prevented the current disaster Chaim Bloom inherited.
The bottom line is Yelich just took $23.89 Million per year, while Mookie rejected $30 Million per two years ago. Mookie Betts is a great teammate and someone who does a ton of charity work and never looks for recognition. He's an MVP and probably the best position player developed by the Red Sox since Yaz, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice and maybe even Ted Williams. But if Mookie even kind of liked it in Boston he would've signed the deal. Christian Yelich is what it looks like for a player to love playing for an organization and fanbase.
Mookie never felt for Boston what Boston felt for him. It's a shame, because it could've been an all time David Ortiz like love affair with the city.
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