American League MVP Mookie Betts, who went to a salary arbitration hearing and beat the Boston Red Sox last year, settled for $20 million this time around, a league source familiar with the agreement told ESPN on Friday.
The $20 million sets a new standard for players with four or more years of service, and it almost doubles the salary for Betts, who was awarded $10.5 million in 2017 after the Red Sox had countered with a $7.5 million offer.
In 2018, the Gold Glove center fielder led the American League in batting average (.346), runs (129) and slugging percentage (.640) while helping Boston to the World Series title.
Betts is a second-time-eligible player. His $20 million salary is higher than every second- and third-time-eligible player and pitcher. Only fourth-time-eligible players who got that extra season as a Super 2 have exceeded $20 million.
The settlement came early on a wild Friday morning in which more than 100 eligible players negotiated their contracts. Those who could not come to terms with teams are expected to head to an arbitration hearing.