Dodgers Reporter Reacts To Mookie Betts' Historic Contract

Michael Duarte says he was "absolutely" surprised by Mookie Betts' 12-year extension with the Dodgers

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 24, 2020 - 9:12 am
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Mookie Betts got his first hit and scored his first run for the Dodgers on Thursday, helping Los Angeles to an 8-1 win over the Giants.

That’s one game down, and 13 seasons to go for Betts, who signed a 12-year, $365 million extension with the Dodgers on Wednesday.

“That was absolutely surprising to me,” NBC LA’s Michael Duarte said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It really sounded to me that both sides saw an incredible opportunity. Mookie Betts and his team – his agent, his family – they look at this situation; the MLB is going to lose billions of dollars this year, and over half of the teams that would have been vying for Mookie Betts’ skillset in the offseason aren’t going to be able to offer him the kind of contract that he wanted and the kind of contract he turned down from the Boston Red Sox when he was talking extension with them at the end of last season. So I think he wanted to get this locked down because there is financial uncertainty beyond this year.”

Betts, 27, signed the richest contract in Dodgers history. It was also the most money ever given to a player, as Mike Trout signed a 10-year, $360 million extension last year with the Angels.

“The Dodgers knew that they were getting potentially a player who might not even play a game in that uniform as of a couple months ago,” Duarte said. “Now they see a guy that they could lock up long-term. They both [wanted] to get a deal done. With the $65 million signing bonus, the $115 [million in] deferred money, I think they see value in this compared to a deal like Mike Trout’s, which was the record-breaking deal as far as extension or per years and dollars in baseball.”

Click below to listen to Duarte’s interview in its entirety, including his experience in a fan-less stadium Thursday.