Jan. 11 (UPI) — Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom avoided arbitration hearings on Friday after agreeing to deals.
The Red Sox announced that Betts avoided arbitration with a one-year, $20 million contract, the most any player received before Friday’s 1 p.m. ET deadline when teams and arbitration-eligible players must agree to a deal for the upcoming year or otherwise prepare for an arbitration hearing.
Betts made $10.5 million last season. His nearly $10 million jump is the highest arbitration raise ever received by a position player. The biggest contract earned by an arbitration-eligible player is the $23 million that current Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson received last year.
The Red Sox reached agreements with all 10 of their eligible players.
Matt Barnes, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, Brandon Workman, Steven Wright and Betts reached one-year contracts for the 2019 season.
The 26-year-old Betts led the MLB in runs (129), batting average (.346) and slugging percentage (.640) last season. He also won the AL Silver Slugger Award and AL Gold Glove Award.
Sources told MLB.com and ESPN that deGrom and the Mets also avoided arbitration with a one-year, $17 million deal on Friday in his second year of eligibility.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner earned a $9.6 million raise, which topped Betts’ $9.5 million jump.
The Mets also reached one-year deals with Noah Syndergaard ($6 million), Zack Wheeler ($5.975 million), Steven Matz ($2.625 million) and Michael Conforto ($4.025 million).
The 30-year-old deGrom posted an MLB-low 1.70 ERA over 32 starts last season. If the Mets and deGrom can’t reach an agreement on a multi-year contract extension, he becomes a free agent for the first time in 2021.