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Dodgers, Mookie Betts ‘deep into negotiations’ on long-term extension, per report

It looks like the four-time All-Star and 2018 AL MVP will stay in LA.

Arizona Diamondback v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With the way the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken baseball this year, plenty of Dodgers fans were bracing for a disaster scenario — Mookie Betts playing a maximum of 60 games in Dodger blue before hitting free agency, David Price opting out of the 2020 season, and Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs going on to become stars in Boston following a February trade that initially looked like a massive steal for the Dodgers, but some had begun to believe was going to be a heist for the Red Sox.

Fortunately for those Dodgers fans, it looks as if they won’t have to worry about one of those things. The Dodgers and Betts are reportedly “deep into negotiations” on a massive extension, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday, that could keep the former AL MVP in Los Angeles for the next decade. WEEI’s Lou Merloni reported that the deal would be for “10-plus years” and $350-450 million, figures that have since been confirmed by national reporters such as MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

This technically isn’t a radical departure from the Dodgers’ aversion to giving outside free agents massive long-term deals — even though he’s never played a regular season game for them, he is already under contract — but it’s nonetheless an interesting change in approach from a Dodgers front office run by Andrew Friedman that has traditionally emphasized winning every season while keeping costs under control.

Betts’ contract figures to blow the Dodgers’ previous record deal — seven years and $215 million for Clayton Kershaw in 2014 — out of the water, though considering that Kershaw technically opted out of that deal and immediately re-signed a new three-year contract before the 2019 season, he’ll actually end up making more like $238 million.

Betts, a .301/.374/.519 career hitter who makes an impact with his power, speed, and fielding ability, should combine with Cody Bellinger and the rest of the Dodgers’ talented supporting cast to form one of the majors’ most formidable lineups for years to come.