By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Red Sox better be prepared to open their checkbook if they want to keep Mookie Betts in Boston long-term.
With two seasons left until Betts hits free agency, those around the game are starting to speculate that the reigning American League Most Valuable Player could be in line to receive the largest contract in the history of baseball.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted Monday that baseball executives are now predicting that Betts and Angels outfielder Mike Trout are the most likely players to break the $400 million mark.
So if Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are not going to break the historic threshold, who has the best chance to become baseball's first $400 million, or even $500 million players in baseball history? Baseball executives predict #RedSox outfielder Mookie Betts/#Angels OF Mike Trout— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 7, 2019
Both Betts and Trout are scheduled for free agency after the 2020 season.
Whether or not $400-$500 million is a real possibility remains to be seen. Both Betts and Trout will be watching to see what Bryce Harper and Manny Machado get on the open market this offseason.
The Nationals reportedly offered Harper a $300 million contract at the end of the 2018 season.
Machado’s market, meanwhile, remains harder to peg. Nightengale also tweeted Monday that the Yankees interest in the star infielder seems lukewarm, at least for now.
The #Yankees are either playing it coy, trying to gauge the Andujar trade market, or simply have no intention of offering Manny Machado a $200 million-plus contract. The Chicago #WhiteSox and Philadelphia #Phillies remain the most aggressive teams for the prized infielder.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 7, 2019
But no matter what happens this offseason, it’s a fair bet that Mookie Betts is going to be a very, very rich man in two years time.