Red Sox avoid arbitration with 9; OF Betts still unsigned

Reuters

The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with all but one of their eligible players on Friday -- star outfielder Mookie Betts.

The team announced that it agreed to terms with nine players on one-year contracts: shortstop Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., utility man Brock Holt, catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez and right-handers Joe Kelly and Brandon Workman.

Rodriguez, Vazquez and Workman were eligible for the first time and will make $2.375 million, $1.45 million and $835,000, respectively, according to multiple reports. Bogaerts ($7.05 million), Bradley ($6.1 million), Holt ($2.225 million) and Leon ($1.95 million) were in their second year of eligibility, while Pomeranz ($8.5 million) and Kelly ($3.825 million) were in their third. Pomeranz and Kelly are set to become free agents next offseason.

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The Red Sox are set for an arbitration hearing with Betts next month after failing to reach a deal prior to Friday's deadline to do so. Betts is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career this offseason and has filed at $10.5 million. The Red Sox countered at $7.5 million, according to a report from FanRag Sports.

Betts' desired $10.5 million is just short of the record deal the Chicago Cubs handed third baseman Kris Bryant (one year, $10.85 million) on Friday in his first year of eligibility.

Betts, 25, doesn't have an MVP to his name like Bryant, but finished second in the American League voting for the award in 2016. The outfielder regressed some last season, slashing .264/.344/.459 but still hit 24 home runs, drove in 102 runs and stole 26 bases.

The two-time All-Star is also an elite defender in right field, winning Gold Gloves each of the last two seasons.

The Red Sox exercised their right to renew Betts' contract last offseason after they were unable to agree to a one-year deal with him. They gave him $950,000, at the time the second-highest amount awarded to a player with less than three years of MLB service time behind Mike Trout's $1 million from the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. Bryant later set a new record in receiving $1.05 million from the Cubs.

--Field Level Media

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