Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts will be facing some tough contract decisions the next few years. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)
A lot has been made of the window of opportunity the Red Sox may have. Within the next 3-4 years, the foundation of the team will see their contracts expire, leading to some intrigue when it comes to the possibility of extending certain deals.
One of those players who will continue to be a centerpiece of the conversations regarding possible contract extensions is Mookie Betts.
Betts is heading into his final year before becoming arbitration-eligible, having just finished second in the American League MVP voting. Considering he is entering the same service time Mike Trout did when he inked a six-year, $144.5 million extension just before the start of the 2014 regular season, the idea that the Red Sox and their outfielder might have had some talks is a very legitimate road to go down.
But, according to Betts, there are no signs any kind of extension is in the works.
“Not a peep. Not a peep. Nothing at all,” the 24-year-old told WEEI.com at the Boston Baseball Writers’ Dinner Thursday afternoon when asked if his representatives have had any contract discussions with the Red Sox.
Would it be something he would like to push for?
“Nah. Not right now,” Betts explained. “One year at a time. One year at a time and we’ll go from there. I’m going to go year by year and worry about one year at a time. Just go out, win and kind of keep my focus there.
“There are so many different views of things. I know what me, my parents and my agents talk about. We have one view and I don’t want to have three or four different views on that thing. I just want to have one view and kind of stick to it.”
And that one view is …
“One year at a time,” he reiterated.
As for one of the other 24-year-old foundational players on the Red Sox roster, Xander Bogaerts, he continues to keep his intentions close to the vest when it comes to the possibility of an extension. When asked if his agent, Scott Boras, has had talks with the team, the shortstop offered, “I would definitely say I’m looking forward to next year.”
Bogaerts recently agreed to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration in his first year he was eligible for the process. That leaves him with two more offseasons of arbitration-eligibility before having a crack at free agency following the 2019 season.
“I haven’t even played my first arbitration year. I have two more years to go. Maybe after that first year I’ll be like, ‘Oh crap, I have only two more years.’ But I still feel like I’m at the minimum right now. But I haven’t got it so I can’t tell you that feeling,” said Bogaerts, who was also attending Thursday’s event.
“I like the city, and I enjoy my time here, but in the end if you go out there and do your job to help the team win, anything can happen. If you go out there and play well, the team will see that and maybe you can get something done. If not, we’ll see what happens. I know I enjoy my time here, I like it here and I have three more years here. I’m looking forward to it.
“You see numbers every day. Offseason is the time where you see everybody signing, and a few extensions here and there. It all depends. In season you probably don’t want to talk as much. So offseason is probably the best time. I just know I have two more years here, for sure, if they don’t get rid of me. If you play good, there are a lot of things that are possible. It’s on me to go out there and perform.”