Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos talks the art of the extension
Chaim Bloom clearly doesn't want to let history repeat itself.
Despite the Red Sox' efforts, attempts to sign Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers throughout their years leading up to, and going through, arbitration fell short. The result? Betts was dealt, and the team was forced to pay the free-agent rate for Devers.
It's why Bloom has made it abundantly clear that one of the Red Sox's priorities will be to lock up their foundational young talent to contract extensions that will avoid at least some of the discomfort that comes with free agency.
They had some success in the form of an extension with Garrett Whitlock, who potentially sacrificed what would be two years of free agent-eligibility to reel in the security of a contract that could extend to six years.
But, now the question pivots to who might be next?
A good candidate might be Tanner Houck, although his true value might be a bit too uncertain due to the undefined status of reliever vs. starter. Brayan Bello is another, even with just 11 big-league starts under his belt.
But the most obvious candidate for extension talks is undeniably Triston Casas.
The first baseman is viewed by the organization as a big piece of what the Red Sox hope is their next evolution, currently residing as the No. 29-ranked prospect in Major League Baseball by Baseball America. Sure, he has appeared in just 27 games and finished his first major league stint hitting .197, but it is clear the Sox have no qualms of identifying Casas as one of the primary eggs in their be-all, end-all basket.
So, the idea that talks between the team and the player might have begun is far from unthinkable. But, alas, according to Casas, there is nothing yet to report.
"No. None whatsoever," he told WEEI.com regarding extension talks. "I think 30 games is too small of a sample size to tell if I’m going to succeed at this level, or not. I definitely sound like I know what I’m doing, for sure. Whether I can back it up is going to be a different story. I haven’t thought about it. Nobody has approached me about it. And my representatives have never even mentioned it to Chaim or anyone in the front office. I’m just focused on playing this year and we’ll see where it goes. It it happens, it happens. I would love to stay in Boston the rest of my life. I love the city in the little taste I’ve got of it. I don’t know anywhere else and I don’t want to. We’ll see what happens in a couple of years. Hopefully we get something done, but if we don’t we’ll go from there."
Casas isn't blind to the way of the MLB world, particularly in recent years.
After what seemed to be somewhat of a lull in early extensions, the tact has seemingly been reignited, with the Braves flurry of deals of seven-or-more years with the likes Spencer Strider, Michael Harris II, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson offering the most talked-about example.
And Bloom is certainly no stranger to going down such a road, having been in the Tampa Bay organization when Matt Moore signed after 17 days of service time and during Evan Longoria's deal, which took place after just 24 days in the big leagues. And, most recently, Bloom had a part in Brandon Lowe's extension in 2019 with just 58 days of MLB action under his belt.
Such talks are going to most likely happen. For now, Casas - and those hoping to define some of the Red Sox' future - will just have to wait.
"I follow everything," the first baseman said. "I’m always on my phone. I’m always on Twitter. I’m always in the loop with everything. I’m definitely in the loop about everybody’s organizations and what goes on. I’m in contact with a lot of friends with other organizations and their steps. But I hear horror stories about other organizations compared to ours, so I really like the spot I’m in and hopefully I can stay here for a while."