Red Sox

MLB rumors: Mookie Betts turned down this huge Red Sox contract offer after 2017

MLB rumors: Mookie Betts turned down this huge Red Sox contract offer after 2017

The Los Angeles Angels reportedly are finalizing a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with superstar outfielder Mike Trout, which would be the largest contract in MLB history in terms of total value.

The contract also is a huge win for other MLB stars poised to cash in over the next few years, and no one stands to benefit more than Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Tuesday that Betts turned down a huge contract extension from the Red Sox after 2017.

Betts rejected an eight-year, $200 million extension proposal following the 2017 season, according to a source. A second source said the Red Sox have made several attempts at a long-term deal with Betts, but that the All-Star has been comfortable with the risks of going a year at a time in exchange for the reward that could come with patience.

Betts certainly made the correct choice, at least so far. Assuming he stays healthy, it's entirely possible his next contract could also be worth $400 million or more. Betts is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2020 season.

The 2018 American League MVP is a five-tool player who generates offense at the plate and plays Gold Glove-caliber defense in the field. He's also just 26 years old, one year younger than Trout.

One of the questions for the Red Sox is how high should they go with Betts in negotiations when other important players on the roster also are due for pay raises in the near future. Red Sox starters Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, as well as shortstop Xander Bogaerts will be free agents after 2019. Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are slated for free agency after the 2020 campaign, with Andrew Benintendi being eligible in 2022.

The Red Sox are not afraid of having one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but re-signing all of these players to fair contracts likely will be difficult. Betts, however, is worth the price more than any other upcoming Red Sox free agent given his immense talent, age and popularity with the fans.

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An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

An Opening Day start for Red Sox' Chris Sale: 'I think I'm going to be ready'

Already coming off a season cut short by an elbow injury that shut him down last August, Chris Sale's spring training got off to a slow start as he recovered from a bout with pneumonia just as pitchers and catchers reported to Red Sox camp in Fort Myers. 

He says he's progressing after the illness led to him dropping a few pounds from his already thin frame (6-foot-6, 180). He'll throw a side session Sunday and told reporters on Saturday that he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day March 26.

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"I think I’m going to be ready for [the opener]. But like I said, those aren’t my calls to make. I go out there, do my job, tell them how I feel on a daily basis," Sale said. "Obviously as the workload picks up, we have to see how things work out. I’ve just got to be open and honest with them and then we map out a plan and see how it works out."

In a Friday interview on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show, Sale said having his season end early last summer and going through a rehab process to avoid Tommy John surgery has him raring to go into 2020 despite questions about his stamina.

"I feel like I'm better now than I was then because of going through that [injury and rehab]."

Sale hasn't reached 200 innings pitched since 2017. He went 6-11 in 25 starts (147.1 IP) in what he called "a nightmare season" in 2019 after his and all the starters' workloads were limited in spring training and he struggled with his velocity at times before the injury was diagnosed.

"I feel really good," he told WEEI. "I can sit here and tell you what I want to do, what I think I'm going to do, but I've just got to go do it. I live here in town and put in a lot of work. I was here four to five times a week. It's exciting. For me, this really started last September October when that rehab process began.

"I gotta get back to the basics. Not really worry about fading, the injuries. This is sports. Injuries can happen overnight...I'm not worried about what my track record is or what people are thinking of me."

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Jerry Narron hired as Red Sox bench coach

Ron Roenicke officially has his bench coach for 2020.

The Boston Red Sox manager announced after Saturday's spring training win over the Tampa Bay Rays that Jerry Narron will take over the role.


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If Narron's name sounds familiar, that's likely because he served as Red Sox bench coach during the 2003 season when Grady Little was manager.

The 64-year-old went on to assume the same role with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004–05, then served as the Reds' interim manager from June 2005 to July 2007.

Since then, Narron has had multiple jobs including stints as bench coach of the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-15) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2017-19). He was Roenicke's bench coach in Milwaukee.

Boston's bench coach position opened up once Roenicke was promoted to interim manager earlier this month. Roenicke replaced Alex Cora, who parted ways with the Red Sox after his name was mentioned in MLB's report on the Houston Astros sign-stealing investigation.