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Betts avoids arbitration with record $20M deal

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and the Red Sox not only avoided arbitration on Friday, but they did so with a one-year, $20 million contract that sets a record for a player in his second season of arbitration-eligibility, a source told MLB.com.

With Friday's 1 p.m. ET deadline looming for MLB teams to exchange contract figures with all arbitration-eligible players, the Red Sox reached agreements with all 10 of their eligible players.

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts and the Red Sox not only avoided arbitration on Friday, but they did so with a one-year, $20 million contract that sets a record for a player in his second season of arbitration-eligibility, a source told MLB.com.

With Friday's 1 p.m. ET deadline looming for MLB teams to exchange contract figures with all arbitration-eligible players, the Red Sox reached agreements with all 10 of their eligible players.

The status of having a record-setting deal is something Betts is clearly worthy of, having won the American League's Most Valuable Player Award in 2018 with a monster season that helped lead Boston to a franchise-record 108 wins, and ultimately a World Series championship.

The development is also a significant one, when you consider the Red Sox and Betts couldn't agree on a contract the previous two offseasons.

Betts made $10.5 million in 2018, but two offseasons ago, the Red Sox wound up renewing the star right fielder's contract for just $950,000. 

Video: Betts, deGrom accept arbitration settlements

The highest contract an arbitration-eligible player has ever received is the $23 million deal that Josh Donaldson got a year ago, and it won't surprise anyone if Betts shatters that dollar amount next year.

Betts is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2020 season, but the Red Sox would love to keep their homegrown star long beyond that.

En route to his AL MVP Award, the 26-year-old Betts led the Majors in runs (129), average (.346) and slugging percentage (.640), while also capturing the AL Silver Slugger Award and the AL Gold Glove Award.

Though Betts didn't have the postseason he was hoping for at the plate, he clocked a home run in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium, helping the Red Sox seal their fourth title in a span of 15 seasons.

Video: WS2018 Gm5: Betts hits a solo jack to left field

The other nine players who agreed to one-year deals are: shortstop Xander Bogaerts ($12 million), center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. ($8.55 million), left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez ($4.33 million), utility man Brock Holt ($3.575 million), catcher Sandy Leon ($2.435 million), right-hander Steven Wright ($1.75 million), right-hander Matt Barnes ($1.6 million), right-hander Heath Hembree ($1.31 million), right-hander Brandon Workman ($1.15 million) and catcher Blake Swihart ($910,000).

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts