Mookie + LA 4 Eva

Fans that were worried about not getting to see Mookie Betts play in a Dodgers uniform due to the short, fan-less season can breathe a little easier tonight.

The Dodgers just married Mookie Betts, signing him to a 12-year, $365 million extension, which is longer than most marriages in Los Angeles (Ba-dum-bum-skish). In all seriousness though – the Dodgers wanted him so badly during the off season that they were suckered into willing to take on half of David Price’s ridiculously large and no longer deserved remaining $96 million contract, along with losing a bunch of players.

Before coronavirus shortened the season, Betts was going to make $27 million this year, and was going to able to test the free agent market after this season. It’s hard to say at this point if the Dodgers are taking a huge risk when he hasn’t even played a regular season game in LA yet. The $30.4 million he’ll be making each year, along with the $16 million per year owed to Price through 2022 (with Boston paying the other yearly $16 million), will be a large percentage of the LA payroll. And when it comes time to re-sign players like reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger or 3-time Cy Young winning Clayton Kershaw to extensions, they might be screwed – especially without the revenue from ticket and concessions sales this season.

Bellinger signed a one-year/$11.5 million deal during arbitration in the off season, and has two more arbitration years before he’s eligible for free agency. Kershaw, who’s still just 32 years old, has two years left on his three-year/$93 million deal, and could easily score another three to five years with a team – any team – when that’s done. Both of these guys would easily command a $30+ million/year salary when the time comes, and they could both get that from a team that’s not stuck with $46 million per year’s worth of Mookie Betts and David Price.

Then again, the Dodgers just might have all of the pieces in place – this season or next, while they still have the whole band together – to finally get that World Series win that’s been alluding them since they last won in 1988. If they do, they might allow Bellinger or Kershaw (or both) to head for more money somewhere else, and start rebuilding the team.

In any case, congratulations to Mookie and the Dodgers. May their love last a lifetime and yield some World Series rings.

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