MLB Weekly Digest July 27th Edition: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Outfielder Mookie Betts to 12-Year Contract Extension Worth $365 Million

MLB Weekly Digest July 27th Edition: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Outfielder Mookie Betts to 12-Year Contract Extension Worth $365 Million

The previous week in MLB was about a team in the National League signing an outfielder to an enormous contract extension, the league expands 2020 postseason, and a club in the American League resolves their stadium problem.

Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Outfielder Mookie Betts to 12-Year Contract Extension

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed outfielder Mookie Betts to a 12-year contract extension last week, per a team announcement.

The extension is worth $365 million, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Betts is owed $27 million this season but will make $10 million because it is being prorated due to the shortened season.

The Dodgers have invested $392 million into Betts over 13 years.

The deal is the biggest extension in baseball history, surpassing the 10-year, $360-million deal signed by Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The total value of Trout’s deal, which was signed when Trout had two more years left on his contract, is still more substantial at $426.5 million.

The deal for Betts includes a $65-million signing bonus, says Rosenthal.

The signing bonus is a crucial part of the extension as it is not taxable due to Betts being a non-California resident.

The contract will defer $115 million and does not include any opt-outs or a no-trade clause, notes Rosenthal.

Betts was traded with starting pitcher David Price to the Dodgers in February.

Betts reportedly turned down a 10-year, $300 million deal from the Boston Red Sox last year.

One interesting thing to know is that Betts would make history if he wins the National League MVP at any point during his time with the Dodgers.

Betts won the American League MVP in 2018.

He would join Frank Robinson as the only player to win an MVP in both leagues.

Robinson won the NL MVP in 1961, and AL MVP in 1966, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

Betts was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.

The Dodgers were positioned to sign Betts to this mega-deal, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

It was a perfect storm for the team as they have a roster built to win now and have no guaranteed money committed beyond 2022.

The club excels at player development with young stars such as outfielder Cody Bellinger, starting pitcher Walker Buehler and potential star in infield prospect Gavin Lux.

The Dodgers had a bright future before signing Betts to the extension, and after, they have a chance to become a dynasty.

The extension for Betts is lengthy, and history shows these long-term deals do not work out.

However, if Betts stays healthy, he should have about six or seven great seasons with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have a fantastic player for several years in Betts as they were willing to do what the Red Sox would not, which would be offering him a fair deal.

MLB Expands 2020 Postseason to 16 Teams

Major League Baseball is expanding the 2020 postseason.

The league and the players association announced the 2020 playoffs would feature 16 teams in a new format.

The new format will have playoff teams seeded one through eight.

The first- and second-place teams in each division will qualify as the top six seeds.

The top three seeds will go to the division winners, and the second-place clubs in each division will qualify for the next three seeds.

The remaining two spots in each league will go to the teams who have the best records among the teams that did not qualify for the postseason.

There will be no one-game tiebreakers, as any ties in the with teams in the standings will be broken mathematically, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

The first round, which will be called the Wild Card Series, will be a best-of-three format.

The eight Wild Card series will happen from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, and the higher seeded team will have home-field advantage for all three games.

The Wild Card winners would advance to the best-of-five Division Series, and the remainder of the postseason would continue normally.

If every postseason series goes the distance with the 16-team format, there would be 65 postseason games this year.

There were 66 in the entire decade of the 1960s, per Jayson Stark of The Athletic.

The new format will only be used this season, per Marly Rivera of ESPN.

Players will receive a $50-million postseason bonus pool as part of the playoffs expanding, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic.

The expansion is a solid move in a shortened season as it provides more teams with a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

The expansion will add an extra layer of intrigue with the trade deadline as more clubs might be active to increase their probability of making the postseason.

Toronto Blue Jays Will Play 2020 Home Games in Buffalo

The Toronto Blue Jays have solved their stadium issue.

They will play the majority of their 2020 home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, per a team announcement.

Sahlen Field would typically host the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons.

The stadium still has lighting issues, which the Blue Jays are working on, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Blue Jays tried to find another stadium for home games after the Canadian government denied their request to play at Rogers Centre due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were interested in playing at PNC Park in Pittsburgh or Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Pennsylvania health officials denied the Blue Jays request to play at PNC Park last week, and Maryland health officials would not approve the Blue Jays playing in Baltimore either.

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Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]

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