Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
As it currently stands, Trout and Mookie Betts are slated to hit free agency in the same offseason. If that does come to pass, those two should easily score more lucrative contracts than Harper and Manny Machado. And hopefully, it’ll happen a little sooner. That’s a conversation for another day, though.
Betts is basically everything a team would want in a franchise player, and it’ll be shocking if the Red Sox don’t do everything possible to make that happen. They’re certainly laying the groundwork by agreeing to pay him $20 million following an MVP campaign.
He can do it all — hit for average (he won the AL batting title in 2018 with a .346 average), run (four straight seasons of 20-plus steals), hit for power (three straight years of 24-plus homers), and field (three straight years of 20-plus Defensive Runs Saved).
Betts’ 10.4 fWAR not only led the league in 2018, but it was just the third 10.0-plus fWAR this decade (the other two are from Mike Trout, of course). More notably, this was the best single-season performance of the decade thus far. The outfielder’s ability to do so much at an elite level should help him smash through the current $330 million ceiling.
I mean, if he’s making $20 million this year and has another stellar campaign with one year of arbitration left, the only question should be how much beyond $30 million his 2020 salary will be.