Red Sox ‘Deep in Talks’ With 24-Year-Old Pitcher for Long-Term Deal: Report

Brayan Bello

Getty Brayan Bello pitching for the Red Sox against the Orioles in 2023

The Boston Red Sox‘s starting rotation took a hit on March 5 when the team announced Lucas Giolito had a tear in his UCL. He could potentially miss the 2024 season, according to ESPN.

However, the Red Sox continue to plan for the future as work on an extension for 24-year-old starter Brayan Bello, according to the Boston Globe.

“The deal would keep Bello with the Red Sox beyond 2028, when he would first be eligible for free agency,” the Globe’s Alex Speier wrote in a March 6 story whose headline said the team and player were “deep in talks.”

Bello has been in the majors since 2022, making 39 starts for the Red Sox. The young starter has pitched 214.1 innings for the club in that span.

Brayan Bello’s Current Contract Situation

Bello was signed by the Red Sox in 2017 as an 18-year-old in the Dominican Republic. He spent four years in the Red Sox system before making his debut in 2022.

Bello will not be eligible for free agency until 2029 and is not arbitration-eligible until 2026. However, the team is interested in keeping the young starter around long-term and does not want to see him hit the open market.

Bello, 29, was once the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system. Now, he’s a candidate to start on Opening Day for the club and be the team’s ace in 2024. The Red Sox signed Giolito to a two-year, $38.5 million contract this offseason. Red Sox are hoping to keep Bello around without his hitting the open market.

Red Sox Will Lean on Bello in 2024

Bello made 28 starts for the Red Sox in 2023 and posted a 4.24 ERA and 107 ERA+. However, the season numbers do not accurately showcase his success last season.

Bello ended the season with a 12-11 record but was 6-4 with a 2.56 ERA before the All-Star Game when the Red Sox were still in the postseason mix. A shaky September ended up inflating his numbers.

The Red Sox traded starter Chris Sale to the Braves this offseason. They added Giolito, but his season is now potentially over. Without Sale and Giolito in 2024, the Red Sox rotation will likely be Bello, Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock.

Of the group of projected starters in 2024, Bello made the most starts in 2023. Houck and Whitlock both served as relievers as well as starters last season, but will surely be asked to make starts once again in 2024.

Pivetta played in 38 games last season but only made 16 starts. This was just one year removed from his 33 start 2022 campaign. Pivetta started the season in the starting rotation but saw more relief opportunities starting in May.

Bello is currently best equipped to lead the rotation in 2024. However, with the recent news of Giolito, the team could look to make an addition just to add some depth. Giolito struggled in 2023 but was looking to turn things around in Boston.

The 29-year-old starter made starts for the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Cleveland Guardians last season and posted a 4.88 ERA with an 8-15 record.

This season will be a big one for Bello regardless of whether an extension gets done. It will be his first season to showcase what he can do as an ace for the club that signed him in 2017.

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