Red Sox

Mookie Betts doesn't expect to sign contract extension with Red Sox

Mookie Betts doesn't expect to sign contract extension with Red Sox

After Mike Trout signed a gargantuan contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday -- the largest in North American sports, to be exact -- many wondered if Mookie Betts would follow suit and re-up with the Boston Red Sox.

Those people can wonder no longer.

Speaking openly about his contract situation Wednesday in Fort Myers, Betts insisted he's not interested in signing an extension before his contract expires and wants to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 season.

"That’s exactly what I expect. I don’t expect anything to happen till I’m a free agent," Betts said when asked if he expects to enter this season without a long-term contract, via The Boston Globe's Alex Speier.

Betts also confirmed he rejected the Red Sox's contract extension offer following the 2017 season, reportedly valued at eight years and $200 million.

With Trout inking a ridiculous $35.8-million-per-year contract on the heels of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado's megadeals, Betts probably can maximize his value by testing the free-agent market rather than signing an extension. Case in point: In a column published Wednesday, The Athletic's Jayson Stark revealed an American League executive told him Betts earning a $500 million contract is "a possibility."

Still, the reigning American League MVP wasn't interested in speculating how Trout's deal could affect his price tag.

"I don’t think it really impacts me that much," Betts said, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "But it definitely is something positive that is going on in the game and hopefully there is more of it.

"We’re different players. Different players do different things. We do different things."

Betts added he won't ignore the Red Sox's negotiation efforts over the next year-plus, but it sounds like he doesn't want to get undersold, either.

"You can definitely (keep) your ears open and see what's said. But that doesn't mean you necessarily have to agree on or take whatever is given," Betts said, via The Globe's Pete Abraham.

"But I love it here. This is a great place to be, to spend your career here. That doesn't mean you sell yourself short."

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Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez hits first career grand slam, 20th home run of 2019

Christian Vazquez's career year at the plate continued Sunday, hitting his first career grand slam against the Phillies. 

It was also the 20th home run of the year for the fifth-year catcher, blowing away his former career-high in home runs (five in 2017).

Vazquez holds career highs in virtually every offensive category, which has earned him the regular starting job behind the plate as opposed to sharing time with Sandy Leon. 

His resurgence has also helped the Red Sox maintain an elite level of production offensively from last year's dominant World Series run.  Unfortunately subpar pitching will keep the team from returning to the playoffs, but if Vazquez can build off this season there's no reason to believe this lineup can't continue into 2020.

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Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

Alex Cora: Eduardo Rodriguez has been "throwing like an ace" all season

After another superb outing against the Phillies Saturday night, Eduardo Rodriguez earned high praise from his manager Alex Cora. 

"He’s throwing like an ace," Cora said on NESN postgame. "We’re very happy with the progress. The fact that it’s Sept. 14, 15, and he’s as strong as early in the season. That’s good to see.”

Rodriguez didn't secure his 18th win of the year thanks to a seventh-inning walk with the bases loaded, but that doesn't take away from a 12-strikeout performance.

Rodriguez now has a 3.64 ERA in over 185 innings pitched. The Sox need Rodriguez to come into his own if they hope to stay in contention long term, and he continues to show progress toward reaching his potential. 

Rodriguez still has a chance to get to 20 wins, but he'll have to win each of the three starts he has left in 2019. 

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