Tagged in: Los angeles

Mookie Betts agrees to 12 year extension with Dodgers

The Dodgers and outfielder Mookie Betts agreed to a 12-year, $365 million contract extension Wednesday that should keep Betts in Los Angeles for the rest of his career. The deal involves a $65 million signing bonus. Betts will make $10 million during this abbreviated season before the new deal starts in 2021.

The deal is the second-largest of all time, exceeded only by the 12-year, $426.5 million extension Mike Trout signed with the Angels in March 2019.

The development comes a day before the Dodgers open their 2020 season versus the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. The pandemic-shortened 60-game season was in jeopardy during the league’s shutdown and ensuing heated negotiations between owners and the union. Not staging a season could have meant Betts never would have played a meaningful game for the Dodgers.

Not only will he now play in Los Angeles in 2020, but through 2032.

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The club acquired Betts, a four-time all-star and the 2018 American League MVP, and left-hander David Price from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo and two prospects days before players reported for spring training in February.

Betts, 27, arrived as a potential one-year rental with free agency looming in the winter after turning down a $300-million extension offer from the Red Sox. The decision carried risk, but Betts was the elite player the Dodgers sought for their October push to end a 32-year championship drought.

They were confident they could persuade Betts to stay in Los Angeles. The contract would be the richest that Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has given a player. The team has re-signed players to substantial contacts since Friedman took over in October 2014, but none has reached the $100-million threshold. Even in a depressed free-agent market this off-season, Betts would easily smash that ceiling.

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Chargers considered signing Cam Newton

After the Chargers and Philip Rivers split ways, the search for a quarterback started in free agency.

Los Angeles was in the sweepstakes for Tom Brady, but they came up short after he decided to sign with the Buccaneers. Another free agent option was Cam Newton, who was released by the Panthers in March.

Newton was seen as an ideal target for L.A. because his presence would help sell tickets in their new season. However, they passed up on the opportunity to sign the former MVP.

Were the Chargers actually interested in signing Newton? Coach Anthony Lynn said that the team did contemplate it. “Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback,” Lynn said on a recent CBS Sports interview.

“He’s been MVP of this league, he’s led his team to the Super Bowl and he’s healthy now from what I hear. Cam is going to be on somebody’s roster and he’s going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure.”

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Los Angeles ended up drafting former Oregon product Justin Herbert with the No. 6 overall selection in this year’s draft with the hopes of him being the long-term solution at the position.

Prior to Herbert being selected, Lynn was already confident with the quarterbacks that were already on the roster.

“I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have,” Lynn said. “With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don’t talk about, but he was a Division I AA — he won like three national championships. He’s a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day.”

While the Chargers quarterback room is set, Newton remains a free agent. Lynn trusts that he will be signed in 2020 by a team.

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