By Evan Bleier / March 20, 2019

After $430M Mike​ Trout​ Deal, Will Mookie Betts Be Baseball’s $500M Man?

The AL MVP doesn't plan on signing a long-term deal until he becomes a free agent.

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 09:  Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Mets at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on March 09, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Mets at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on March 09, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

After Mike Trout and the Angels put the finishing touches on a contract extension that will pay the star outfielder $430 million over 12 years, there was one person who was happier about the contract than Trout himself.

Though he didn’t ink the biggest deal in the history of pro sports, Mookie Betts is very glad Trout did because of what it means for his future earnings.

The reigning AL MVP and (debatably) second-best outfielder in baseball behind Trout, Betts is set to become a free agent following the 2020 season and, with Trout as well as young stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado all under contract for at least a decade, he figures to cash in as the best available player.

So is it possible Betts will surpass Trout and become baseball’s first $500 million man?

“I think it’s a possibility,” an AL executive told The Athletic. “But the thing I wonder about is how high can it go? In everything in life, there’s a breaking point … If you really look at it, I don’t think he’s as good as Trout, but he’s better than Bryce Harper. So I think he’s probably a guy who slots in there in between those two.”

In the wake of the Trout deal, Betts said he doesn’t expect to sign a long-term deal with the Red Sox before free agency.

“I don’t expect anything to happen till I’m a free agent,” Betts said at spring training. “Just going to go out and play. Can’t worry about the economics of the game right now.”

That said, Betts hasn’t ruled out a return to Boston.

If they decide to pay him a half-billion dollars, that return could be guaranteed.