January 19, 2019 / 10:46 PM / a year ago

Red Sox 'crystal clear' they want to keep Betts

Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said he hopes superstar Mookie Betts will never wear another uniform.

Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (50) hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s the exact type of player you want to have on your team,” Kennedy said Saturday at the team’s Winter Weekend at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. “Not just from what he does on the field, but off the field. He’s such a great person and we’d love to have him be a Red Sox for his entire career.”

Betts can become a free agent after the 2020 season, and he said he could see himself with Boston if things work out.

“Contract things are kind of tough to come up with, especially with both sides and kind of how the economics and all those things work,” Betts said. “I love Boston, love my teammates, love the fans and all those types of things, so we’ll just continue to see what happens.”

The two sides agreed this month to a one-year, $20 million contract to avoid arbitration. Betts made $10.5 million last season.

“I’m happy with the result,” Betts, the reigning American League MVP, said. “Now, it’s just time to play baseball.”

Kennedy said the team has told Betts, 26, that the Red Sox want him on the roster for the long haul.

“You certainly understand, you try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, he’s going to want to see what the market looks like, and we understand that,” Kennedy said. “But we’ve made it crystal clear that we want him a part of the Red Sox organization long term. We were chatting last night, I don’t know why a player would ever want to play anywhere else other than Boston.”

In the 2018 season, Betts hit 32 home runs and had 80 RBIs while batting a league-high .346.

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