Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox went to an arbitration hearing yesterday. Betts was asking for $10.5 million and the Red Sox countered at $7.5 million. Betts won, and now he’ll be making eight figures for 2018.
This was Betts first year of arbitration eligibility. He won’t hit free agency until 2021. That suggests that the 2016 MVP runner-up is in for either a couple more big paydays before hitting the market or a long-term deal from the Red Sox that will buy out his two remaining years of arbitration and, an all likelihood, part of his free agency.
Betts, 25, hit .264/.344/.459 with 24 homers and 102 RBI while playing Gold Glove right field in 2017. For his career he’s a .292/.351/.488 hitter with two Gold Gloves on his mantle. He’s also stolen 80 bases in three full seasons and part of a fourth.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.