Mookie Betts wanted to be a Red Sox lifer. But he wanted something else even more

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts throws the ball as he warms up before a spring training game.
Mookie Betts signed the second-largest deal in MLB history last offseason with the Dodgers.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Mookie Betts wanted to be a member of the Boston Red Sox for life.

That’s according to writer Sam Schube in his article on the superstar outfielder for the April edition of GQ magazine.

But Betts wanted something else even more than that, something that resulted in his relocating to Los Angeles and helping the Dodgers win their first World Series in more than three decades.


He wanted to make every cent he knew he was worth in Major League Baseball.

“I don’t care if you’re working at Waffle House or for the Red Sox or for the Dodgers,” he told Schube. “You should just get paid what you’re worth.”

The Dodgers’ surplus of starting pitching might best be utilized by employing seasoned starters as relievers for multiple innings, like Urías in 2019.

March 15, 2021

So with free agency looming following the 2020 season, Betts started getting extension offers from the Red Sox, a team with which he won a World Series title and an American League MVP award. He turned them all down, even as he was searching for a new place to live in the area.

“The very first contract extension I ever saw was super hard to turn down,” he said. “It was like $90 million or something. They slid over the sheet of paper, and I saw the number, and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I had never seen that before, so that was hard to turn down. But once you can figure out how to say no, then it becomes easy as anything.”

The last offer he turned down from Boston reportedly was for 10 years and $300 million. The Red Sox ended up trading Betts, along with pitcher David Price, to the Dodgers before the start of 2020 spring training.

The Houston Astros shelled Mike Bolsinger in 2017 while banging on trash cans. He hasn’t pitched since and it doesn’t appear his lawsuit is gaining traction.

March 15, 2021

A day before the pandemic-delayed season opened in late July, Betts signed a 12-year, $365-million contract extension with the Dodgers, the second-largest deal in MLB history.

Betts told Schube that the Red Sox “didn’t owe me anything; I didn’t owe them anything. The city didn’t owe me anything; I didn’t owe the city anything. We did what we were supposed to do.


“And at that point, it’s a business.”