Look, I’ll be the first to say I think Major League Baseball salaries can be bloated. WIth the regularity of which $300M contracts are being handed out these days, it’s absurd. We can sit here and debate whether those players earn that money, using statistics, data, revenue generated for the team, etc., etc., etc. In the case of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, there is one stat floating around which goes a long way in support of his $365M deal.
While the back end of these deals is where we judge these players (you don’t have to go far to see, just look at Betts’ teammate, Albert Pujols’ stats in years eight, nine, and ten of that 10 YR/$240M deal), we can say Betts is earning his keep in the front end of his 12 year pact with the Dodgers.
Players get these contracts to perform on the big stage. Baseball players are nothing if not entertainers, right? In his two years since coming over from Boston, Betts has delivered a World Series title and a trip to the National League Championship Series. His regular season stats (and days on the field for that matter) may be pedestrian, but his postseason numbers are why he’s earning his paychecks.
Mookie Betts’ stat line is the reason the Dodgers have experienced recent postseason success.
In a winner take all, Game 5, against the San Francisco Giants, we knew runs were going to be at a premium. We figured baserunners were going to be at a minimum as well. Betts was 4-4. High tension, not as far as he was concerned.
Betts singled and stole second base in the sixth inning, and later scored on the Corey Seager double, providing the Dodgers with their first run of the game. In his three other at-bats, Betts singled to lead off the inning twice, and singled with a runner on base. All four times he was a table-setter for the Dodgers, and accounted for half their hits on the game.
As the Dodgers move on the play the Braves, Betts has another series to shine. Another series to show his worth and prove his value. Another series to put up numbers and endear himself to Dodgers fans. Early returns on the mammoth contract are positive. Dare we say Betts is going to pay for his 12 year contract in the first two years of it? It’s possible.