After Mike Trout signed a gargantuan contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday -- the largest in North American sports, to be exact -- many wondered if Mookie Betts would follow suit and re-up with the Boston Red Sox.
Those people can wonder no longer.
Speaking openly about his contract situation Wednesday in Fort Myers, Betts insisted he's not interested in signing an extension before his contract expires and wants to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season.
"That’s exactly what I expect. I don’t expect anything to happen till I’m a free agent," Betts said when asked if he expects to enter this season without a long-term contract, via The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.
Betts also confirmed he rejected the Red Sox's contract extension offer following the 2017 season, reportedly valued at eight years and $200 million.
With Trout inking a ridiculous $35.8-million-per-year contract on the heels of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado's megadeals, Betts probably can maximize his value by testing the free-agent market rather than signing an extension. Case in point: In a column published Wednesday, The Athletic's Jayson Stark revealed an American League executive told him Betts earning a $500 million contract is "a possibility."
Still, the reigning American League MVP wasn't interested in speculating how Trout's deal could affect his price tag.
Boston Red Sox
"I don’t think it really impacts me that much," Betts said, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "But it definitely is something positive that is going on in the game and hopefully there is more of it.
"We’re different players. Different players do different things. We do different things."
Betts added he won't ignore the Red Sox's negotiation efforts over the next year-plus, but it sounds like he doesn't want to get undersold, either.
"You can definitely (keep) your ears open and see what's said. But that doesn't mean you necessarily have to agree on or take whatever is given," Betts said, via The Globe's Pete Abraham.
"But I love it here. This is a great place to be, to spend your career here. That doesn't mean you sell yourself short."
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