Report: Betts, Sox talked long-term deal but he opted to go year to year

Report: Betts, Sox talked long-term deal but he opted to go year to year

The Red Sox approached Mookie Betts about a long-term contract this past offseason but the right fielder told the team then he's comfortable going year to year, Jon Heyman of reported.

Betts, 24, the American League MVP runner-up to the Angels' Mike Trout last season, when he hit .318 with 31 homers an .897 OPS and league-leading 359 total bases, will make $950,0000 in 2017. That's the second-largest salary for a non-arbitration-eligible player (Trout made $1 million in 2014). 

Betts and agent Steve Veltman wanted more, but Betts said at spring training there are no hard feelings. He's eligible for arbitration next year and can become a free agent in 2020.  

Heyman points out that Betts' reluctance for a long-term deal follows a trend of other young stars (the Cubs' Kris Bryant and Indians' Francisco Lindor among them), who are holding off committing to multi-year deals. Betts' Red Sox teammate, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, 24, a client of super-agent Scott Boras, is in that same category. 

Betts, coming off a Wednesday night performance in Philadelphia in which he hit two homers, a double and a single, leads the Sox in homers (11) and steals (11) and is hitting .280 with an .860 OPS. Bogaerts leads the Sox in hitting at .325 and has an .834 OPS.


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels


Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.