After the season was shut down due to a deadly global pandemic, it appeared as though the Los Angeles Dodgers took a massive L trading for Mookie Betts who was on a 1-year deal and looked like he wasn’t even going to play that final year in LA.
Then after a 60-game schedule was announced, it still looked like the Dodgers got played once again as they gave away prospects for a 60-game rental of a player that they didn’t even really need considering they were World Series favorites with or without Betts.
But things change.
Play baseball, young men.
The @Dodgers have signed @mookiebetts to a 12-year, $365 million deal. Unlike in the @NFL, @MLB contracts are guaranteed thanks to the battles fought and won by the @MLB_PLAYERS. https://t.co/Rsnum8sZY0
— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) July 22, 2020
Cash Rules Everything Around Me.
Mookie Betts will be playing in Los Angeles for the next 13 years. But most importantly, after months of MLB owners crying poverty and pretending as if they are all applying for unemployment, it turns out that star players are still getting paid as Mookie Betts is literally the highest-paid player in baseball in the middle of a pandemic.
I’m a Yankees fan. There I go bragging again.
But if you clicked this article then you may have believed that this was about to be a Yankees fan celebrating that not only is Mookie Betts playing in the National League for the next decade but he’s also never playing for the Boston Red Sox again. Pop champagne. Life is good.
However, that’s not the reason why Mookie Betts signing with the Dodgers is going to save the Yankees. No, there’s actually a 6-foot-6 250-pound elephant in the room that the Yankees can potentially free themselves of after this season.
Giancarlo Stanton has played 176 games in two seasons with the Yankees out. That’s 148 missed games. The man is constantly limping around which I don’t blame him for. His body is his body and his pain threshold is his pain threshold. He didn’t choose to be this way but there were significant Jacoby Ellsbury vibes coming off what was thought to be a steal of a trade from the Miami Marlins.
Stanton was literally the reigning NL MVP when he was traded to New York coming off a season with 59 homers and 132 RBIs. The Yankees traded for one of the best players in the game and only had to give up like, a bag of Twizzlers and some random shit Derek Jeter left in his old locker.
In 2018, Stanton had 38 homers and 100 RBIs. When healthy, he is still one of the best bats in the Yankees lineup. But that feels like a million years ago and most importantly, it doesn’t feel worth paying him $25 million a year until 2029.
The Yankees made it clear that they wouldn’t attempt to acquire another top hitter in free agency because of Stanton’s deal and I am in no way a Brye Harper fan but that powerful lefty bat in Yankee stadium would’ve been delicious.
But Mookie Betts’s massive deal might save the Yankees from Jacoby Ellsbury 2.0.
Giancarlo Stanton has a player option after this season. With an offseason of uncertainly, it seemed like a done deal that Stanton would take the guaranteed money and opt in to the final 9 years of his deal. Why opt out and risk making all the money while the owners were making it seem like they would all need to take up some bartending shifts at the local bar to pay these players.
But if Mookie Betts is getting $365 million ina PANDEMIC then why wouldn’t Giancarlo Stanton opt out?
Sure, his stock is nowhere as high as it may have been when he originally penned the deal but we’re only three years removed from him being the best hitter in baseball and a monster 60-game stretch with the Yankees this season could see him look for that bag which would ultimately give the Yankees financial flexibility to give young guys like Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez, their first big payday but they could sharpen the pitching and potentially sign someone better than Stanton who isn’t an injury magnet.
This Mookie Betts deal might have drastically altered the Yankees future in the best way possible. Thank you for your service.