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Mookie Betts, Red Sox avoid arbitration with $20 million deal

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Thanks to the deadline we mentioned earlier, a lot of players are signing arbitration-avoiding deals with their clubs today. None will be bigger than this one, however: Mookie Betts and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year deal for $20 million.

Betts, who is just in his second year of arbitration-eligibility, made $10.5 million last season, so he’ll nearly double his salary. He certainly earned it, after he hit .346/.438/.640 with 32 homers, 30 steals and 129 runs and won the AL MVP Award for the World Series champions.

Needless to say, this is record deal for a player in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Assuming he doesn’t fall off a cliff in 2019, he’ll shatter the third-year record too. Or, alternatively, he’ll agree to a very, very lucrative long-term extension to keep him in Boston and away from the free agent market for a very, very long time.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.