Saturday, April 13, 2024

Brayan Bello extension: Red Sox to lock up young starting pitcher on six-year, $55 million deal, per report


The Boston Red Sox have locked up one of their core young players. The Red Sox and right-hander Brayan Bello have agreed to a six-year contract extension worth $55 million, reports ESPN. The deal includes a $21 million club option for a seventh year, a $1 million signing bonus, and salary escalators per The team has not yet announced the signing.

Last year was Bello’s first full MLB season — he made his big league debut in July 2022 — and this new contract buys out his two remaining pre-arbitration years (2024-25), three arbitration years (2026-28), one free-agent year (2029), and potentially a second free-agent year with the club option (2030). Bello will still be able to become a free agent at age 31 even if the option is picked up.

Bello, who turns 25 in May, has an ERA+ of 102 across parts of two big-league seasons with Boston. Armed with a mid-90s sinker, Bello has plus velocity and boasts strong ground-ball tendencies. After being signed out of his native Dominican Republic, Bello put up strong numbers coming up through the Red Sox’s farm system and has emerged as perhaps their most coveted young arm. 

Beyond locking up Bello beyond his usual six years of control, an additional motivation for such extension from the club standpoint is achieving cost certainty through the player’s salary-arbitration years. For Bello, this extension equals long-term security and certainty, and life-changing money. 

Given the possibly season-ending injury suffered by Lucas Giolito, Boston’s marquee offseason addition, Bello’s role in the 2024 rotation figures to become even more important. In fact, manager Alex Cora on Thursday indicated Bello could be the club’s Opening Day starter, per the Boston Globe.

With Bello locked up, the Red Sox may now look into extensions for other members of their current young core. For now, though, Bello is the first core young player to sign long-term.

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