Everyone is pissed at John Henry…and look, I get it. He’s a tone deaf goof. He runs a once-great-now-utter-joke of a newspaper. But one thing you can’t get mad at him for is this:
Mookie Betts is a great player. Top 5 in MLB, for sure. But, he’s not worth anywhere near $400M. That’s just nonsense.
Betts is great because he’s a power-speed guy, and he’s a great defender (in a less than premium position). He’s also 5’9″, and his power is reliant heavily on power in the wrists and bat speed. Go ahead an look up guys with this profile… see how they age. I’ll give you the amount of time it takes to say “Andrew McCutchen”.
Speed is always very fleeting. Power in players of smaller stature, also doesn’t tend to hang around long. He’ll potentially be at the top of his game for another 4-6 years, sure, but the Dodgers are talking 10+ years, from all indications.
Mike Trout (the only other player in this $ stratosphere) is undoubtedly better at everything than Betts, and will likely be able to age as a power hitting Corner OF-DH. This really isn’t something that’s likely for Mookie.
The time to sign Betts was BEFORE he reached arbitration. Before he made any real money. The Sox did miss the boat, but it wasn’t this past offseason, like so many Twit-iots are saying now. It was 3 or 4 offseasons ago. At that point, you could sign him up for most of his peak years, at a realtively team friendly deal. You’d have to let him go before you want, but not at 27.
This is why the Sox should– with double birds extended to the Betts Truthers– immediately throw somewhere in the neighborhood of 200M at Rafael Devers. The guy has .300-35-100 written all over him, and his profile will translate to being a power hitting 1B as he ages, and he won’t lose a ton of value. He hasn’t had a real payday yet, so he should be amenable to a deal that buys out a few free agency years, and guarantees not only a lifetime of financial security, but also one more bite at the free angency apple when he’s somewhere around 30. Get this done, and allocate the remaining Betts “savings” to starting pitching. That’s how you win.
If they don’t get Devers signed to a contract, that would be a far bigger crime than not landing Betts to a $400M deal. Then, I’ll be the first one in line shitting on John Henry for this.