January 10, 2020 / 9:11 PM / 11 days ago

MLB notebook: Red Sox, Betts avoid arbitration with record deal

Mookie Betts continues to do big things with the Boston Red Sox as the All-Star outfielder avoided arbitration with the club Friday by agreeing to a record $27 million deal for 2020, according to multiple reports.

FILE PHOTO: Major League Baseball - New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - London Stadium, London, Britain - June 29, 2019 Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts in action REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

The previous record to avoid arbitration was the $26 million than Nolan Arenado agreed to with the Colorado Rockies last year before he was locked up to an eight-year, $260 million extension during spring training.

Betts, 27, will move into his free-agency years following the 2020 season. The 2018 MVP batted .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs over 150 games in 2019, while leading the American League with 135 runs scored. That came one season after he led the Red Sox to a World Series title by batting .346 with 32 home runs and 80 RBIs.

Betts is a career .301 hitter over six seasons, all with the Red Sox. He has 139 home runs and 470 RBIs and his play in right field has earned him four consecutive Gold Glove Awards 2016-19). He also has been named to the AL All-Star team in each of the past four seasons.

—The Chicago Cubs avoided arbitration with Kris Bryant and agreed to a $18.6 million deal for the 2020 season with the All-Star third baseman, according to multiple reports.

Bryant still has another year in arbitration remaining for 2021, although that situation is pending a service-time grievance filed by the 28-year-old over the team’s decision to delay his arrival to the major leagues in 2015. That numbers game effectively delayed his first free-agent year by one season.

Bryant batted .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBIs in 147 games in 2019. He is a career .284 hitter with 138 home runs and 403 RBIs, making the National League All-Star team three times while winning the MVP in 2016 and the rookie of the year in 2015.

—The Oakland Athletics avoided arbitration with Marcus Semien and will pay $13 million in 2020 to the shortstop that finished third in American League MVP voting when he batted .285 with 33 home runs and 92 RBIs. The 29-year old’s 747 plate appearances led the American League.

The club also avoided arbitration with right-hander Liam Hendriks ($5.3 million), outfielder Mark Canha ($4.8 million), left-hander Sean Manaea ($3.75 million), outfielder Robbie Grossman ($3.7 million) and right-hander Chris Bassitt ($2.25 million).

—The Cleveland Indians avoided arbitration with Francisco Lindor and agreed to a $17.5 million deal with the shortstop, according to MLB Network. Lindor, 26, who has been mentioned in trade rumors with the Los Angeles Dodgers, batted .284 in 2019 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs.

—The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a three-year, $22 million extension with outfielder David Peralta, taking the Gold Glove winner’s contract through the 2022 season, according to multiple reports.

Peralta was arbitration eligible for the final time this winter, with the new extension now taking his deal through his first two free-agent years. The 32-year-old batted .275 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs during a season that was limited to 99 games because of right shoulder issues.

Over six career seasons, all with the Diamondbacks, Peralta is a .290 career hitter with 85 home runs and 330 RBIs.

—The Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration with right-hander Trevor Bauer and agreed to a $17.5 million after the deadline-deal acquisition went a combined 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA in 34 starts with the Cleveland Indians and Reds lasts season. Bauer, 28, was 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts with the Reds alone.

—The Chicago White Sox avoided arbitration with five players, including closer Alex Colome, who will earn $10.5 million in 2020 after he recorded 30 saves in 33 chances. Also agreeing to a deal at $5.6 million was outfielder Nomar Mazara, who was acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers.

Other players to agree were utility man Leury Garcia ($3.25 million), left-hander Carlos Rodon ($4.45 million) and right-hander Evan Marshall ($1.1 million).

—The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a deal with infielder Jedd Gyorko, who batted just .174 with two home runs and nine RBIs in just 62 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, The Athletic reported. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Gyorko, 31, is a career .245 hitter with 112 home runs and 353 RBIs for the San Diego Padres, Cardinals and Dodgers in a seven-year major league career.

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—The Seattle Mariners claimed infielder Sam Haggerty off waivers from the New York Mets. Haggerty, 25, was designated for assignment in December. He made his major league debut in 2019 for the Mets, seeing action in 11 games.

The Mariners also avoided arbitration with three players: outfielders Mitch Haniger and Mallex Smith, and right-hander Sam Tuivailala.

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