MLB: The most valuable right fielders of 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch on the wall on a hit by Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals for an out in the fourth inning of game five of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes a catch on the wall on a hit by Howie Kendrick #47 of the Washington Nationals for an out in the fourth inning of game five of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

3. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox, $15.411 million value; $20 million salary

The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player had a nice season, but it was largely overshadowed by his team’s collapse to near-.500 status. It wasn’t Betts’ fault; he batted .296, delivered a .524 slugging percentage and a 135 OPS+.

Betts did finish eighth in the league’s MVP voting, his 6.8 WAR representing the position’s third best. It translated to $12.737 million in on-field value.

He did it while playing 1,273 innings, sixth best and worth $1.583 million. The 10 assists Betts recorded tied for fourth best at the position, amounting to a final $1.09 million in on-field value.

The bottom line confirms Betts’ status as a legitimate star, his actual value trailing only the National League’ two great outfielders.

Betts is a third-year arbitration eligible who is projected to be awarded upwards of $27 million this winter. That’s the number driving discussion in Boston about whether to trade their star outfielder.

Even if he gets the $27 million, Betts will still only be the third highest paid player on the Red Sox roster, behind pitchers Chris Sale and David Price. Here’s some non-news: neither one of those pitchers generated anything approaching Betts’ value…yet that very fact could make their contracts unmoveable and force Boston’s hand on Betts.