Red Sox

Mike Trout's huge reported Angels extension gives Mookie Betts his blueprint

Mike Trout's huge reported Angels extension gives Mookie Betts his blueprint

We're still weeks away from meaningful baseball games, but Mookie Betts' projected value in free agency continues to rise.

The Los Angeles Angels are finalizing a gargantuan 12-year contract extension with outfielder Mike Trout worth more than $430 million total, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday.

That's an average annual salary of $35.8 million, smashing Zack Greinke's previous record of $34.4 million per year and making Trout the highest-paid player in baseball by both annual salary and total contract worth.

Trout and Betts, both former American League MVPs and generational talents, both were set to become free agents following the 2020 season and launch historic bidding wars for their services.

But the Angels reportedly got ahead of the game Tuesday -- and in the process set a target for Betts to shoot for in free agency.

We already knew the Boston Red Sox outfielder would be within his right asking for a deal north of $350 million after Bryce Harper's 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

With Trout re-upping the bar to $430 million, though, Betts can make a case to earn at least $400 million total or at least $35 million per year if he desires a shorter deal.

Why? Because even if you think Trout is the best player in baseball, you could argue Betts is right behind him: Both players have very similar career 162-game averages at the plate, while Betts has three Gold Gloves to Trout's zero.

The timing of Trout's reported extension is important, as well. Betts signed a one-year, $20 million extension with Boston in January during arbitration, but do the Red Sox try to follow the Angels' blueprint and lock up their superstar to a long-term deal either this season or next before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2020?

If they don't, they'll have to compete on the open market for one of the best players in the game -- and put a Trout-like number on the table to convince Betts to stay in Boston.

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Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman says Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis had words for him during Tuesday's game

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Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman says Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis had words for him during Tuesday's game

Tensions nearly boiled over during Tuesday's Red Sox-Blue Jays matchup.

Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, a notoriously animated presence on the mound, quick-pitched Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis in the fourth inning and induced a ground ball, but Chavis reached on an error.

The inning would end with Stroman covering first on a play before switching his attention to the Red Sox dugout, where Chris Sale was yelling in his direction. After the game, Stroman said Chavis had some words for him too.

Things didn't escalate after the heated exchange, but there's still time for some fireworks. The Red Sox and Blue Jays will play again Wednesday night and the finale of the four-game set will place Thursday.

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Highlights of the Red Sox' 10-3 loss to the Blue Jays

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Highlights of the Red Sox' 10-3 loss to the Blue Jays

FINAL SCORE: Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 3

IN BRIEF: Rowdy Tellez hit two homers off Eduardo Rodriguez and drove in five as the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox in Toronto 10-3 for only their fourth victory in the past 18 games against Boston at Rogers Center. BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 25-23

HIGHLIGHTS:

4th inning:
Guerrero Jr. singles to right, Tellez homers to right on a 0-0 pitch from Rodriguez (2-0, TOR).

Grichuk homers to left on a 1-0 pitch from Rodriguez (1-0, TOR).

5th inning:
Guerrero Jr. singles to left, Smoak walks, Tellez homers to right on a 2-2 pitch from Rodriguez (6-0, TOR).

6th inning:
Moreland homers to left on a 1-1 pitch from Stroman (6-1, TOR).

Thornburg replaces Rodriguez on the mound. Jansen singles to center, scoring Galvis. (7-1, TOR)

Drury singles to left, scoring McKinney (8-1, TOR). 

7th inning:
Grichuk hits an infield single, Galvis singles to left, Drury doubles to center, scoring Grichuk and Galvis (10-1, TOR).

8th inning:
Devers homers to right on 0-0 pitch from Biagini. (10-2, TOR).

Bradley Jr. homers to left on 1-0 pitch from Gaviiglio (10-3, TOR). 

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