As a young professional in any line of work, it helps to get advice from the grizzled veterans who have been through all the ups, downs, twists and turns of a career in their field.
Fortunately for Mookie Betts, the Red Sox outfielder was able to get some insight from teammate David Price and Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, who both have been in the majors for more than 10 seasons.
Price and Sabathia offered Betts advice on free agency — which the 2018 American League MVP is set to hit after next season — on an episode of CC Sabathia and Ryan Ruocco’s “R2C2” podcast. Betts doesn’t expect to sign an extension with Boston before his contract expires, so he wants to know what he’s getting himself into once the end of the 2020 season comes around.
So what advice did Price and Sabathia have to offer? Here’s their conversation with Betts, as transcribed by MassLive:
Ryan Ruocco: Mookie is like on the brink of [free agency]. What kind of advice would you give to Mookie as he’s about to go through the process?
CC Sabathia: Just to stay the course. It ain’t really nothing you can do but just play hard and be yourself. You’ve just got to wait it out. It sucks. You should be getting paid now. I mean, you’re getting paid but you should be getting paid more. You’ve just got to stay the course, man. It sucks being a free agent. I was talking about it with Manny, it’s not fun. It’s a part of the game.
Mookie Betts: Is it just not fun because you don’t know if you’re actually going to get a job?
Sabathia: You know you’re going to get a job. You just don’t know where. And then you have your family and everybody’s moving. It’s just a lot of moving parts and different s**t that you want to get settled in. We’re so creatures of habit, you get comfortable in what you do. That might all change with free agency. It’s just unsettling a little bit.
David Price: Yeah. Being real close with James Shields and him going through his free agency, he was like, ‘Bro, this sucks.’ And then I went through it, and it sucks.
Betts: It’s just the uncertainty.
Sabathia: And you have in your head where you want to play. Wherever that is. And sometimes that s**t don’t match up. And it wasn’t matching up for me. I’m like, this is ain’t how I imagined this s**t to go.
While Betts hasn’t slammed the door shut on a potential contract extension to stay in Boston, it’s clear the two sides will have to agree to terms on a monster deal as the 26-year-old declined an eight-year, $200 million offer from the Red Sox after the 2017 season.
Free agency likely isn’t Betts’ only concern at the moment. He enters this weekend’s Sox-Yankees London Series hitting just .261 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI.
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