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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MLB Rumors: Could Red Sox be part of three-team Wil Myers trade?

MLB Rumors: Could Red Sox be part of three-team Wil Myers trade?

Could the Boston Red Sox participate in another blockbuster trade before the 2020 season?

We learned Tuesday that the Red Sox and Padres are still discussing a trade involving San Diego outfielder Wil Myers, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

But it's possible a third team gets involved in a Red Sox-Padres trade, The Athletic's Dennis Lin reported Wednesday.

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From Lin:

As part of these considerations, the Padres have discussed a potential three-team trade that would ship Myers to the Red Sox and land Cincinnati Reds center fielder-second baseman Nick Senzel in San Diego, two sources told The Athletic

Lin added that no trade is imminent, but Acee also reported the Padres have interest in the 24-year-old Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds' No. 2 overall pick in 2016 who would become San Diego's center fielder.

Per Acee, a Padres-Red Sox trade would have Boston assume about half of the $61 million Myers is owed over the next three years while receiving some combination of pitcher Cal Quantrill and prospects Luis Campusano and Gabriel Arias.

It's unclear how the Reds' involvement would affect Boston's return for Myers, or if the Red Sox would have to send a player to Cincinnati in this deal.

But San Diego general manager A.J. Preller apparently is serious about making a move: The Padres also remain interested in Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Lin reports.

Is Chris Sale a serious Cy Young candidate? Sportsbooks bullish on Red Sox ace

Is Chris Sale a serious Cy Young candidate? Sportsbooks bullish on Red Sox ace

Perhaps Chris Sale's stock isn't as low as it appears.

The Boston Red Sox left-hander posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA in 2019 before elbow inflammation ended his season in August.

He hasn't thrown off a major-league mound since then and may not be ready for 2020 Opening Day after contracting pneumonia prior to spring training. He turns 31 at the end of March.

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And yet: DraftKings Sportsbook currently lists Sale at +600 odds to win the 2020 American League Cy Young Award, the second-shortest odds behind New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.

Here's the top five:

Gerrit Cole +275
Chris Sale +600
Justin Verlander +700
Blake Snell +1000
Mike Clevinger +1000

Why are sportsbooks so bullish on Sale, who has better odds than reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander?

For one, the hard-throwing left-hander insists his arm is fully healthy. He also threw just 147.1 innings in 2019 -- his lowest output in a season since becoming a starter -- and should be well-rested for 2020.

Advanced metrics also suggest Sale's 2019 campaign wasn't as bad as it appeared: His 35.6 percent strikeout rate ranked second in baseball behind Cole, while his 3.39 FIP was the second-lowest in the majors among pitchers with an ERA above 4.00.

And lest we forget, Sale is just two seasons removed from posting a 2.11 ERA over 158 innings in 2018 and three seasons removed from leading MLB in strikeouts with 308.

The Red Sox need Sale to be at his peak if they want to have any success in 2020. As of right now, the odds are in his favor.