Mookie Betts is in a pretty good place right now. He just won his first go-around in arbitration, taking home a near-record for a first timer with a $10.5 million salary in 2018. Merely staying the course on his current levels of production will mean astronomical salaries in arbitration years two and three, and if he takes his game to a new level, his pay will be something truly amazing to behold.
That gives the Red Sox a very, very big incentive to lock Betts up to a long-term deal. Betts, however, is not interested in talking about that during the season. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe:
It’s the smart financial play for him, for sure. Betts is just 25 right now and, if he stays on his current course, would hit free agency in his prime, at age 28. A deal which buys out his last two years of arbitration and some amount of his free agency would delay true free agency until he’s in his 30s, most likely, and as we’re seeing this year, being a free agent over 30 is not a great place to be.
All of which means, if you’re the Red Sox, and if you want to lock Betts up long term next fall, you had best go hard or go home.
ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.
The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”
He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.
Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.
His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.
He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.
Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.
He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.